Bloggers in Bloom Recap (AFGS2014 Giveaway)


(This post has a giveaway at the end!  Please comment for a chance to win.  The AFGS provided me with these tickets at no cost to me and all opinions are my own.  Thankful for their generosity and I look forward to the event to see the beauty that will be displayed.)

All day the city of Little Rock looked like a frozen glass house.  Ice was on every tree limb and wire.  But, at a blogging and flower and foodie event: it was warm and colorful inside.

Last night I went to a wonderful event hosted at a lovely home here in Little Rock.  It was all about flowers, food, spring, the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show (coming up in a few weeks), warm weather, friends, and wine & food pairings.  What a night filled with beautiful color and helpful information and prime rib and salmon (oh the salmon)!

AFGS 2014











For me, the night was about color.

Yellow is such an inviting color.  Have it in your guest room, your entry way, or anywhere in your home where you would like people to feel completely welcome.Art can make a statement.

The owners of the home we were invited in to love art.  There was a piece on every wall.  Gorgeous ways to bring in color to your home.

Strawberries and black pepper – new fave combination!

I had on a pink scarf and there was so much purple in the room – love it!  All these different hues found everywhere at the event!

I’ve been reading in Exodus in my devotions about how God was detailing the colors for the tabernacle.  I love God gave us colors and instructed us to use them in worshiping Him!  He is a colorful, creative God!

The last thing I learned was later when I was talking with my husband about the event: make sure your home tells what is really the most important thing in life.  When people come in your home – what will they remember?  What will their takeaway be?

And I have a giveaway for you!!!  Thankful for the free tickets to the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show.  I have three pairs to giveaway to readers!  So, if you are going to be able to attend the event at the Statehouse in a few weeks, leave a comment below (only blog comments will count) about your favorite flower and how you bring it into your home to brighten up the blah months of winter.  I will pick three winners who will each get a pair of tickets to the event.  Thank you AFGS!!!  I can’t wait to attend the event on Friday morning with my family!  And if you have Sunday afternoon available – it is going to be a great time for the youngest gardeners out there!

So thankful for the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show, the owners of Colonial Wine and Spirits, Chris Olson and his talents for making flowers come to life inside your home, and the Arkansas Women Bloggers, and all those who gave us such lovely SWAG for this wonderful event.


Arkansas Frontier – Quitman

posted in: Arkansas, Events | 0


Are you looking for a family outing this fall? In October (and Nov 1 this year due to the weather), Quitman (small town outside of Little Rock) is host to the Arkansas Frontier. This wonderful family adventure, perfect for families that have preschool or school age children, fills up a huge acreage with all sorts of fun activities for children of all ages.

Learning about Indian history


School groups welcome
We were highly taken by the hospitality of every employee present. From the ticket givers to the men and women that ran each “exhibit”, they were friendly, knowledgeable, funny, and very willing to help or answer any questions we might have had.

Helpful employees
Our son, who is almost 13 months old loved the animals (goats, rabbits, mini horses, pigs, chickens, etc) and also was really enthralled by the pumpkins and hay bales. He enjoyed hanging out with daddy and oma for the morning too (a special treat).
This October fun place is not only FUN but also educational, perfect for school trips or homeschool outings. They teach you about how school “worked” in the earlier days. There was a mining exhibit that kids actually got to “Swish” and pan for minerals, but they also learned about the minerals they found and about the history of mining. There were teepees and a history lesson of Indians. For really fun times, there was a hay ride, wagons that parents could pull little children in, and duck races.

School in 1913
Families often have trouble finding positive outings to do together nowadays. Quitman has the answer – the Arkansas Frontier is that answer. Especially if you like pumpkins and all things fall – then head on over there (FRIDAY!) Your family will enjoy the day – just as mine did today! I have 2 sleeping boys to prove the fun was more than they could handle.

Petting zoo was so neat









Me and mine having fun

*My family received free admission into Arkansas Frontier in exchange for this blog, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Art, Culture, & Jesus

posted in: Bible, Books, Events | 0

This past Friday night I had the opportunity to attend two lectures centered on Christ and the arts.  It was really neat to see how the two went back to back, different venues, and were so perfectly tied together.

Makoto Fujimura spoke at Duke Divinity School on his work of The Four Gospels for Crossway.  Bruce Ashford, from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, spoke at First Baptist Church of Durham’s Disciple Now Weekend.

Mako’s work on The Four Holy Gospels is astounding.  If you haven’t seen this short video of his work on this project, watch it.  His understanding of theology is much deeper than I would have ever given him credit.  Here are some takeaways from the 90 minute lecture and Q/A:

“Why don’t we stop trying to find everything wrong with contemporary art or culture and highlight what is right?”  I think Christians have a tendency to knock anything that is possibly different.  Fujimura’s art isn’t my primary style, but it is still beautiful and exquisite.  It is still done for the glory of God.  We as a Christian, conservative subculture (if you will) definitely have our opinions and would almost rather tear down culture and art rather than see the beauty in it – knowing that all beauty originates from the Beautiful One.

“The antidote for anxiousness in Matthew’s gospel: use your senses.  Glimpse the eternal purposes of God.”  He was referring to the passage that says do not worry, look at the lilies, look at the birds.  On a conversation on the way to FBCD, I was talking about this comment.  How the lilies don’t even have a brain to be able to worry if they are going to grow or not, the birds just fly and nest and eat, etc.  Can we live in that much dependency upon our great God or do we have a natural way of leaning on ourselves and fretting.

The speaker settled on John 11.  I took much away, but one thing I wanted to share here is about compassion.  Jesus’ compassion: he meets us where we are, takes us where He wants us to be.  My prayer: Teach me Lord to be more compassionate, to know people, to be a studier of people’s hearts, not just what I want them to be.   This takes listening more than speaking, gazing instead of passing quickly, hearing instead of running thoughts through my head.

Best takeaway of the night, and still need to ponder this thought and revel in its beauty: “Restrictions and limitations actually give you more freedom.”  I am thoroughly enjoying this right now.  Anxiety doesn’t creep in as much.  But, such mornings as this, I need to be reminded of who God made me and what His Son did for me on the cross.  I’ll be writing more about this in the coming weeks.

On to Bruce Ashford…few miles away from Duke Divinity, lecture 2.  Dr. Ashford is a friend, husband to Lauren, dad to two little (cute, adorable) girls.  He loves to speak on this topic of engaging the culture with the truth of Christ.

He spent about 25 minutes going through the metanarrative of the work of God in the world (creation, fall, redemption, new creation).  This set his stage for everything else he was going to talk about as the evening progressed.

How is fashion, food, photography, writing, and music all grounded in the meta narrative of the Bible?  He said all art finds its answer in the meta.  The meta shows a strikingly beautiful truth on every part of life.

How did sin corrupt: “spirituality, morality, rationality, creativity, relationality.”  Every one of these relationships are marred and scarred by sin.

Society is made up of families.  Genesis 1-2 says we are to build families, grow families – of worshipers.  Only problem with this is that we tend to grow families of worshipers of other things than Jesus.  What are we training our families to worship? (More on this later for my job.)

“Basis of every question in the world can be answered in the meta.”  God’s truth resounds to everything.

“All beauty should guide you back to the one who is most beautiful.”

Bruce gave 4 criteria for judging art:

1.  Technical excellence.

2.  Validity (is the artist true to himself)

3.  Content

4.  Integration of Content and Vehicle

How do you study art?  How do you anticipate and participate in art?  How are you an artist?  How do you see God in art?


New Must-See places in NC

posted in: Events, food | 2

The next 6 weeks are going to hold many adventurous and fun things to do for me in NC (after a quick trip home to FL for Christmas). But, with the birthday coming up, a little middle of the week trip to the coast, some time in Charlotte and every place in between…here are some fun places I get to go to in the Tarheel State. What places would go you go to? What places do I need to hit up or try out? What do I need to eat?

A roomie-birthday trip to the North Carolina Museum of Art which is just down the street for the Trotman exhibit.

I just saw this in a NC magazine and need to go here in January… Sipa new wine house in Cary. Tastings, cheese, affordable wines…should be a pretty tasty place.

The Stemmerman Inn – yes, I went here already, but this time I get to stay. My Mother’s Birthday present to me. I can’t wait. This is such a pretty and old inn on the river! And Wilmington won’t be so packed since it is winter. Looking forward to 24 hours away.

I get to go back to the String Bean in Belmont, NC (by Charlotte). Looking forward to tasting some more of their yummy food. Such a fabulous little place.

Another fabulous French place in Charlotte that I get to go and prepare for a women’s conference I’m doing is called Amelie’s Bakery. I’ve heard their croissants are out of this world! I’ll let you know when I go!

And to go with all this eating, I get to run a 5k on New Year’s Day in Cary. Great way to start a new year, hoping for a PR. Gotta have one!

Recap of the NC State Fair

posted in: Events, food | 0
One of the highlights of moving back to Raleigh was the anticipation of the annual State Fair. I only live 2 miles from the fairgrounds, so that is a perk.
I chose to go on a Sunday afternoon with a new friend from church. It took us 45 minutes to get there (note the above distance from which I live from the fairgrounds). We got free parking (a plus)! Finally got in for a price of 8$.
I only really wanted grilled corn, but by the time I was hungry, the only place that was near had burnt corn – no good. So, it was really warm that day and my tummy wanted ice cream – soft serve waffle cone with sprinkles was ordered up. My friend got lemonade and a frozen banana. The line for the NC State homemade fresh ice cream looked like the line for Space Mountain at Disney – but it may have actually moved slower. We didn’t wait.
We saw exibits and huge watermelons and cows that looked like they had not a care in the world.
Over a million folks came to the fair this year, which makes me happy because of the economy and the finances it brings to the Wake County area. But, really…it was a let down for me. 2.5 hours and I was ready to come home.

Wilmington Event: 128 South Fall Preview

posted in: Events, food | 0
In the words of Anne of Green Gables “This might ruin every day life for good.” A surprise ending to my day trip to Wilmington was attending the Fall Preview Open House at 128 South. Want to know if the gorgeous reflective stained glass is real – yes it is. Mid-1800s. Beautiful.
JJ and his team at 128 South (with the adjacent, red-highlighted Stemmerman’s Inn which was established in 1855) put on a wonderful event highlighting some of the city’s local vendors that are available for events and weddings. Some of the vendors who were showcased that evening were indigosilver who had done a brilliant job displaying portraits of work shot. They also rent out their studio and provide what you might need for a photo shoot. Social Butterfly Events’ owners were such gracious hosts to their corner of the building. Talkative, informative, passionate about their work, these two ladies know what they are doing when it comes to designing cards and invites for any occasion and coordinating weddings, along with many other events or needs you might need. Heather and Charyl have a knack for the industry. 128 South had other vendors there but those were the specific ones who I had a chance to interact with.
The food was delicious and satisfying. A spread of heavy hors d’oeuvres which included crab cakes, crab dip (so much than the lunch I had that day), chicken marsala, asian meatballs, grilled asparagus, goat cheese (which is always a winner with me), and an open bar kept the patrons and seekers satisfied.
128 South is available for events of many different natures. They can hold 120-150, have an upstairs, bar area, beautiful downtown Wilmington view, and a courteous staff and owners. It was a pleasure to be there that evening.