Wednesday, July 30, 2014

DIY Napkin Rings {Guest Post}

Hi there, Frankly My Dear readers! 

I'm Lisa, and I blog over at Lisa Loves John.  I blog about DIYs, easy recipes, and whatever else my hubby and I may be up to!  Since Jenni is off in China, I thought I would share an easy (and very, very inexpensive) DIY.

First off, some of my very simple joys in life include pretty paper, snail mail, froyo ...and fun napkin rings! 
There is nothing better than a napkin ring to match a themed dinner - for the 4th of July, Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines Day, etc... whenever, really!  The only problem is that these little suckers can get pretty expensive when you want to buy a whole set.

So I set off to Pinterest, and found a great popsicle stick DIY that I just had to try.

What you need:
- Popsicle sticks (the thicker ones)
- Washi tape (Target has an amazing selection - look at all these prints!)

How to:
1.  Begin by putting your popsicle sticks in boiling water for 30-45 minutes. Boil twice as many sticks as you think you may need in case some splinter when you're bending them.

2.  After the sticks have boiled, remove them from the water and bend in a circle (you will want to use an oven mitt since they will be pretty hot).  Take it slow when you're bending them, but you will need to use a little bit of force.

3.  Place the curved sticks in a drinking glass, or something round to keep their form, and let them sit over night (I used candle votive holders to keep my sticks rounded).

4.  In the morning, the wood should be completely dry and the sticks should hold their shape.  Cover the sticks with washi tape and cut the exposed edge of tape to match the roundness of the stick.

The great thing about these little guys is that you can make them fit any look (pending washi tape is available!).

And really, you can buy a pack of 150 popsicle sticks for $2.99, so you won't be breaking the bank!

And to use up the remaining washi tape and dress you table up further, you can wrap the washi tape around candles to have at the table!

... Meet Lisa ...

Monday, July 28, 2014

We Really Do {Guest Post}

this is really illegal...I'm in front with the curly hair

Once on a mission trip to Rome, one of my favorite people in the world handed me a packet. Despite many photocopies over the years, the title was clear: we really do need each other.

Later, something awful happened. It was gradual and I could not realize nor stop the wound from growing and festering. I was hurt. I curled up and became a bit of a hermit. I did not want to need anyone (except for a select few). 

But guess what? 

We really do need each other. 

Moving back from SF to Chicago made this abundantly clear. When I saw an old friend, I think my soul sang an old song I'd forgotten the words to. Supporting one another and allowing oneself to be supported is not only important; it's necessary to do this thing called walking with the Lord.


 Once upon a time, I showed the real me to people and they recoiled. They made a list of what I needed to change and I tried, I truly did. Metaphorically, I nearly killed myself trying to tick things off that list. But we (both those people and myself) can't do it that way. 

 But God. 

  "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18) 

I forgot that, so raw inside. I forgot that verse and vowed never to show the real me to anyone again. Enter moving. Enter blogging. People who loved me invaded my space until I uncurled like a trampled but alive flower. 

God has even used this blogging community to prove His point. It's so simple and difficult because of our human hearts but... 

We really do need each other. 

I admit it.

So yes, I'm in this weird place, staying with my dad to save money (SF has the highest rent in the country) and commuting into the city. In the fall, I'll find a place of my own and a church too, a community group to do life with. 

I'm writing it down so now I have to do it. It's kind of terrifying but also freeing to stop allowing old hurts to determine how I live. 

"What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, 
nor the heart of man imagined, 
what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).


Find me at Flowers in my Hair. 


... Meet Nina ...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Back to the Basics: Hospitality {Guest Post}

Hi there! I'm Heather and I blog over at Port City Prescription, where I ramble on about living life in style. I'm more than excited Jenni allowed me to hop on over and share a few thoughts on something near and dear to both our hearts - hospitality.

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I've grown up learning a few things about the good ol' Southern hospitality, but I'm a firm believer no matter what region of the country, we can all be gracious, hospitable beings! You might feel limited by resources or space or even time. Fear not, friends, I've got some tips for becoming the hostess with the mostess.

“Eating, and hospitality in general, is a communion, and any meal worth attending by yourself is improved by the multiples of those with whom it is shared.” ― Jesse Browner

1. Whether it is a couch or guest suite you have to offer your guests, leave a personal touch. Be it their favorite candy or drink or flowers by the bed- show your guests you're thinking of them. We call them surcee's where I'm from- they're fun and unexpected, typically small but meaningful.

2. This one might seem more rigid but is still important. Be conscious of your guest's basic needs- water, toiletries, bedding. While not as fun to plan, you can always have fun with these. Leave cold water bottles/ a filtered water pitcher with your guests. Consider purchasing a travel kit with the main toiletries in case they forget something. Provide various types of bedding- some people prefer lots of blankets while others only sleep with sheets. Your guests might appreciate a fan for background noise while sleeping. I feel like these are small, but common things around most of our homes. The main idea is to keep your guests from having to ask for much of anything.

“The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It's about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.” ― Shauna Niequist

3. Time, time, time. Most often, the people you'll be hosting will be dear family or friends. While they will enjoy exploring a new place, they undoubtedly crave your time. You can be busy preparing food or cleaning house, but don't miss a prime opportunity to love on your guests. Even if you can't provide anything else mentioned above, this is (in my opinion) the most important things to remember. Giving your time will mean more to your guests than any material gift you might bestow. Stay up late, laugh a ton, and make memories you'll be able to reminisce about for years to come.

4. Have fun! Opening up your home to others can be one of the most rewarding experiences. You get to share your life and most precious possessions with those you love.

“So this is the dance, it seems to me: to be the kind of host who honors the needs of the people who gather around his or her table, and to be the kind of guest who comes to the table to learn, not to demand.” ― Shauna Niequist

Thanks to Jenni for having me and to y'all for allowing me to share a little piece of my heart! Be sure to drop by the blog anytime and connect with me via all those other social media platforms :)

... Meet Heather ...

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Beauty Guide {Guest Post}

Hey all you Frankly My Dear readers! 
I'm Cassie and I'm so excited and thankful for this opportunity to guest post today. Feel free to check out my blog, Southern Belle Ramblings

 Now, let's get started!
Summer is one of the best times of the year for beauty. From tan skin to beachy hair to kissable lips, you just can't go wrong. Here are a few summer beauty items that I think are essential for everyone to have. What are some of your Summer beauty essentials?

Summer Beauty Essentials

1. During the summer, everyone knows that you need to have some SPF on to protect your skin. We all know that we need to moisturize our skin very well too. With this product, I have found the best of both worlds. Instead of having to apply SPF and then a moisturizer, this moisturizer has sunscreen in it! I have used Cetaphil products in the past because they are so gentle on my skin and I was so thrilled when I found this moisturizer. I absolutely love it! However, if you do not like the smell of sunscreen, you might want to skip out on this product and find something else.

2. Heavy foundation is not something that I want during the summer. I prefer to go with something much lighter. I have been using Garnier BB Cream for combination/oily skin for about a month and a half now and I absolutely love it. It looks really natural on the skin and provides a good amount of coverage without being too heavy.

3. Just like with out skin, we need to keep our lips moisturized. A few months ago I purchased a Nivea chapstick that has a coral tint to it and I absolutely love it. It keeps my lips feeling moisturized and the color is so pretty. It definitely makes your lips very kissable!

4. Don't you just love the beachy waves your hair gets after a day on the beach? What if you could have those same beachy waves in your hair at home? If this is a hair style that you like, you should look into purchasing the Not Your Mothers Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray. I have very straight hair, but if I apply this to wet hair and let my hair air dry, I end up with some soft beachy waves.

5. Summer is the time for bare feet and sandals. Naked toes are not something that I want to be seeing. A fun, bright color on your toes is definitely a must for the the summer months. I tend to lean towards hot pink, mint, or turquoise when I want my toes done in the summer.

Thanks again, Jenni, for letting me guest post today! And as she would say....

Frankly my dear...Nobody likes naked toes in the summer! 

... Meet Cassie ...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Stories, Songs, & Praise {Guest Post}

Hi guys!  My name is Brittany and I blog over at Stories, Songs, & Praise.  
I am so excited to be guest posting here while Jenni has what I hope is a fantastic time in China.  
One of the reasons I enjoy reading Frankly My Dear is because I enjoy Jenni's discussions of faith, so I thought I would discuss something from my own Christian walk today.

I grew up within the Christian church.  I attended with my grandparents as a small child, then with my parents through my teens.  My senior year in high school, I was accepted to a Lutheran university.  In talking to others, I realize how blessed I have been to have this foundation for my faith

To be completely honest- even with this fairly Christian/church heavy life, I didn't make reading my Bible a priority until I was approaching my mid-20s.  I may have highlighted a few key verses (John 3:16, Joshua 1:9, etc).  Sometimes I looked up a specific word or parable, but it wasn't a daily concern or desire.  

My early 20s were...tumultuous to say the least (you can find the highlights here & also here).  After many years of feeling as though I was floundering in my faith, I made a conscious decision to make Jesus Christ the main focus of my life.

This lead to many changes within my life, including my desire to read the Bible.  Instead of just being a chore I felt like I had to do in order to claim Christianity, I asked the Lord to imprint an actual desire to learn within me.  I purchased a new Bible for this new start in my life, and tried a few different methods of reading it.  

I'd always heard church elders talk about getting up early and spending time in the word first thing in the morning.  I tried it...and just kept failing.  I like sleep, okay?  I tried using a reading plan to "get through" the Bible within a year...and felt discouraged as soon as I inevitably missed a day.  

But I really wanted to become more familiar with this book!  Why could I not get into a habit?  Eventually I just started carrying my new Bible with me, in the hopes I would read it out of sheer opportunity (I normally carried a book around anyway).

Naturally, during this overall of my faith, my life in general started to look a little different.  This included a new job.  I now work for a large organization in an admin position.  I have a set lunch schedule and large grounds laden with benches and shady trees perfect for reading.  I started eating my lunch & then taking my Bible outside for some fresh air.

It took me a year to work through Genesis.  In the past 2 months, I have read Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, & Numbers- just started Joshua this week.  I have no set quotas for time or length, I just read what I can when I can.  Sometimes we each have to be realistic about our circumstances and personalities.  I did not get anything out of reading the Bible when I made it into a chore I was supposed to do a certain way.  I don't want to just check this off on a Christian to-do list; I want to understand the history of my faith, and apply His word to my life in a deeply personal way.  Once I viewed my Bible as a gift instead of a chore, my life (and faith) changed.

I'm not saying I have everything magically figured out now (far from it), but I have another habit that helps keep my life focus on Christ.  And that is a blessing.  

I would encourage you to really think about what works best for you, and what will draw you closer to Jesus.  We are all different parts of one body, and we require different things.  That's okay- figure out what works for you.  Maybe this requires reworking your schedule...or your viewpoint.  Just don't loose focus on what really matters.  

... Meet Brittany ...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mustard Glazed Salmon {Recipe}

Hi Frankly My Dear readers! 
My name is Hope & I'm so excited to be guest posting for Jenni while she's in China. 
I had the pleasure of meeting & becoming friends with Jenni at our alma mater, Murray State University. I'm so thankful for social media & snail mail for helping us to keep in touch despite the distance. You can learn more about my life as a believer, wife, & registered dietitian over at my blog, Oh Taste & See

Today I'm sharing a delicious, simple, and healthy recipe for Mustard Glazed Salmon. I encourage my patients to eat seafood such as salmon, tuna, herring, or sardines at least 2-3 times a week. These rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids promote heart and brain health! 

When I look for weeknight recipes I keep a couple things in mind: 
Are the ingredients real, whole foods? Are the steps relativity simple? 

I totally respect & admire complex, sophisticated recipes but after I get home from work I want to spend time with my husband and our puppies, not be in the kitchen the rest of the night. Save the long recipes for the weekend! As far as ingredients go, I believe in choosing whole, minimally processed options in order to improve & maintain health. I'm a fan of short ingredient lists in recipes and on food labels. I also love supporting local farmers & vendors. 


Mustard Glazed Salmon

4 frozen wild caught salmon fillets, thawed 
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon local honey
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 

Place thawed fillets in a baking dish. 

Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. 

Adjust seasonings and flavors to taste. 

Spoon sauce over the salmon. 

Bake for about 10 minutes or until desired doneness. 

I am notorious for "eyeballing" amounts in recipes so feel free to adjust the ingredient amounts to suit your own preferences. I love the sweet, tangy flavor of the sauce and the texture of the whole grain mustard. I served our salmon with some curried quinoa and sautéed zucchini. 


... Meet Hope ...

Friday, July 18, 2014

You have Influence! {Giveaway}

Happy Friday Friends!

Today I have something SO special for you!

I've told you all about the influence network before but I really want you all to understand how much it means to me. I have made some great friends through the blogging community, but none of them compare to the relationships I've developed with my sisters in Christ - through the Influence Network. 

I have met these women face-to-face & computer-screen-to-computer-screen. I see them on IG and I get to follow their lives through their words. One of the greatest things in life is a friendship with woman that goes far deeper than shopping & brunch dates. To truly share life means admitting our weaknesses, owning our shortcomings, celebrating victories, & working through circumstances. We pray for each other, listen to each other, & laugh together.
The Influence Network not only provides ways to grow your self, it introduces you to women all over the world who desire the same things you do. Using our influence to be women of God is the greatest goal we can have with our online spaces - so lets do it together!

Today I am joining with some of those very friends I am talking about to bring you an incredible opportunity - A LIFETIME membership to the Influence Network!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How to Pray for Foreign Missions {Guest Post}

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah and I blog at Seriously, Sarah

I'm here to share about how to pray for foreign missions. I've never gone on a foreign mission trip, so it might seem odd to write about how to pray for foreign missions. In reality, you can be a part of foreign mission trip teams that leave from your own home church by simply participating in praying for their trip! 

 Last summer, my boyfriend, who is now my husband, went with our church to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip. Since I was unable to accompany him, due to work, I knew that I would miss him terribly. However, even from my house in South Carolina, I was able to participate in his trip by praying for him before he left and while he was there. Even after the team returned, we were able to continue to pray for the full time missionaries who live in the Dominican Republic.

  DR 1

Before the Team Leaves:

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 

 It is important to pray that the team is growing in their love of the Lord. Pray that they are going on the trip to bring God glory because that is the chief goal of missions.

When the Team is on the Trip:

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. 
 While the team is traveling and at the mission site, praying for their safety, comfort, and strength is important. Pray that God will comfort them and give them strength for the good works to which they've been called and the good news that they will spread. 

  Isaiah 49:6 I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth. 
 Pray for the people to whom the team will be ministering. The team has been called to be a light for the nations, so pray that salvation will reach to the end of the earth! 

  2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 
 Again, pray that the team will be effective in preaching and ministering while they are on their trip. Praying that they will be competent in their teaching and patient with their work. The team may only be planting seeds, so to speak, so they may never see the fruits of their labor in person.

dr 2

When the Team Returns Home:

Everyone can continue to pray for the full time missionaries, their families, and the community where the team went! 
  John 17:21 That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 
 Pray that the missionaries will feel community and be supported, long after your team comes home. Pray that they will be understood by their communities. I pray that these verses will be helpful and encouraging as a lot of summer mission trips are leaving from churches all over the country. I encourage you to pray for foreign missions, regardless of it you are physically going on the trip or not. 

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**Note from Jenni: Hi friends! At this point I have boarded my plane and officially began my trip. I wanted to send a word of caution on things you comment on here, IG, & message me. I will still be receiving messages and sometimes things like "praying for you" and the word mission can cause issues in China. I am not going to be anywhere where I am in danger, but it's just precautionary. Thank you so much for your encouragement and I can't wait to share with you when I return!!

... Meet Sarah ...


You can connect with my blog at 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Signing Off

Tomorrow is the day friends!
I am leaving at an early 4 am to catch my flight across the world!
Words cannot containment my excitement for what is in store my team, our new friends, and myself.

I wanted to share with you my verse for this trip before I left:

"For it is all for your for your sake, so that people as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God."
2 Corinthians 4:15

I want this trip to be ALL about God. To bring him thanksgiving, glory, & praise.
The people I will encounter will need Jesus. I will need him as I am there. (and always)
Will you join me in those two requests over the next two weeks?

Thanks, friends! I so appreciate your love & encouragement as I depart tomorrow and over the next several days.

One last thing!
Despite the fact that I'll be on the other side of the planet, the blog won't be unattended!!
I've got some of my absolute favorite ladies lined up and I can NOT wait for you to meet them! From recipes & devotions to beauty tips &'re not going to want to miss these gals!

Here's a sneak peek:

Frankly my dear...再见!

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Kitchen Sophistication {Giveaway}

Happy Monday, Friends!
This week is super packed...literally! The bags are ready & I'm shipping out in just a day! start this awesome week off right, I've got a giveaway for y'all!!
Together with a wonderful group of girls, we're giving away an Anthropologie apron (gorgeous) and two oven mitts. Talk about kitchen sophistication.


 must be 18 years old and live in the US (all entries will be verified)

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Oh Hey Friday! {v. 1}

Happy Friday Friends!

A new look for my Five thanks to Kali & Amy!

Oh Hey!

A huge thank you & major shout out to The Farmer's Wife + September Farm for crashing the Five on Friday Summer Party! It's such a strange feeling when the one plan you have every week is turned upside down! Dramatic...maybe, but who cares! Cheers to Friday!


This is happening y'all! This time NEXT week I will be IN China leading a group of youth!
Keep us in your thoughts?

Work Flow

This week has been an amazing refresher for me at work! I went through a review and gained additional responsibility so it was time to pull up the boots & hit the fields. I was able to accomplish almost half of my quarterly goals in just three days & if that's not something to celebrate, I don't know what is!


I found this print on Pinterest this week and fell in love! I've talked about comparison a couple of times on the bligity blog...but let's be honest...we all do it...especially with each other! I can't tell you how many times a week I scroll through IG or blog world or Pinterest wishing I had someone's outfit or perfectly styled entryway or thinking my lunch wasn't as healthy as someone else's.

Who. Cares.

I will not compare myself to strangers on the internet!


Bread & Wine Project

If you've never read Bread & Wine you! And if you haven't visited Rachel & her monthly community + recipe link-up, The Bread & Wine Project, you should...NOW! I am so in love with these ladies & their faith. Mix in a little food action & you've got the perfect match! This week was our first link-up so I highly encourage you to check it out & join us next month!

This weekend will be full of last minute preparations for my trip & spending a little quality time with my man and our puppy child! I can't think of a better way to spend it!

Happy Weekending, Friends!

Frankly my dear...Happy Friday!!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Bread & Wine Project: Strawberry Cobbler {Recipe}

Good morning friends!
My heart is so happy this morning as I join Rachel for the Bread and Wine Project.

I knew this book was for me as soon as heard about it...maybe it's my southern roots or maybe it's just because I'm human and I love food - especially bread!! The first page of the book had my mouth watering for a honey buttered croissant - can I get an amen?!

Some of my most vivid memories are over the old oak dining table in my parent's home... always including some sort of food no less. The gospel has been shared there, I learned to write my name there, I hand tied my wedding invitations there, & decorated Christmas cookies with my grandmother there...I could go on for days about the things that table has heard & seen. Including the food. The food that has been served there has been cooked from scratch, served with love, & blessed with prayer. I can only hope that my old oak table sitting in my kitchen will serve the same purpose to my family.

But we aren't here to talk about the's about the food! While I totally agree that the setting is important, the contents of the food is what nourishes our soul & feeds our spirit.

Today I am sharing a delicious cobbler I made with fresh picked Michigan strawberries! It smells absolutely heavenly while baking & tastes just as delicious! 

A few weeks ago when my parents visited, we traveled north to Michigan. There was this sweet old red barn with a "You-Pick Strawberry Sign" & we could not pass it up! The weather was perfect & the strawberries were fresh.


1 Stick Butter
1 Egg
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
3/4 Cup Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch of Salt
2 Quarts Whole Strawberries
4 Ounces Cream Cheese, cubed.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash & cap strawberries if you have not already.

In a 9x13 pan, place your stick of butter & put in the oven until melted. 

In a small bowl, mix egg, milk, flour, sugar, baking powder, & salt. Pour directing into your baking dish, over the butter. Do NOT stir.

Add strawberries on top, being careful to make sure they do not overlap. Sprinkle in pieces of cream cheese over strawberries. 

Bake on 350 for 45 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

Serve warm with a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice-cream!! 

The best part of this cobbler recipe is that you can easily add any fresh fruit & are guaranteed a delicious dessert!

Thanks for joining me today for the Bread & Wine Project & I hope you join us next time!

Frankly my dear...get your cobbler on!

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