Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year + That Girl

My Style Icon: Marlo Thomas

Retro TV shows make me happy, & none more so than That Girl. Oooh, I love Marlo Thomas {the star actress}, her quirky charming personality, & fashion sense. This show has much to do with me going out on my own … I knew about the show, but had never seen it until around Christmas last year. After watching That Girl I couldn’t be content until I found my own little apartment & tried my wings… The rest is history. You can’t imagine the squeals let loose {in my apartment} the day I saw the commercial letting me know That Girl was coming back to TV… no more scrounging & saving to purchase the DVD box sets. Tomorrow on the MeTV network {which I sincerely hope you have}, they will be hosting a That Girl marathon, & in the days after that, you can find That Girl every weekday night at 9:30 eastern time! It’s simply fabulous!

I hope to do some That Girl fashion posts in the near future, too… so come back soon!

If you don’t have MeTV, or simply can’t wait till tomorrow afternoon, here’s the first episode {after the pilot}. Hope you enjoy & happy 2012!


That Girl New Year

Friday, December 30, 2011

{Last Minute} New Year's Accessory Tips

I'm so excited about New Year's!  Ahhh, a fresh start, new beginning, & all that jazz!  It makes me grin from ear to ear {no, really} =).  Not to mention that New Year's Day falls on a Sunday this year - oh, I'm going to pick out {from my closet} =) the perfect ensemble for church!  Here's some quick accessory tips...  No need to purchase a brand new outfit, make it fresh with all the little {sparkly} extras... 

Add some sequins!
Add Some Sequins

Add some glitter!
Add Some Glitter


Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Open House

Deck the Halls

Welcome!  I wish I'd had the chance to show you around before the big day, but better late than never!  Here's a little tour for ya... =) 

My living room has a sort of green & blue color scheme, which I didn't want to alter just for the holiday season... so, I let my Christmas decor match what I already had in place.

My tree had a bit of a theme: nature/things that fly... butterflies, dragonflies, birds, reindeer =)

These glass bird clip ornaments were one of my favorites.  {Michael's Craft Store $1!}

Love this quote I found in a magazine!  It seemed quite appropriate, so I cut it out & layed it on a low branch.  Note the bejeweled glittery green dragonfly ornament.  {Walmart $0.97}

My bookish Christmas continues with my fireplace area.  I tore bunches of pages out of tattered old books {I got them at my local used book store's 'free box'}, & placed them at different angles, taped/glued them together {from the back}, & cut them to fit behind the glass panels...  Don't worry, I don't use my fireplace!  I made a simple paper chain out of more old book paper + a stocking garland out of a $1 chipboard book I got {again} at Michael's, which I disassembled, covered with book paper, & hung on a ribbon.  I love the wall sticker I got at the Dollar Tree which reads, "With God all things are possible."  A perfect promise for Christmastime.

Click here to see how to create another bookish Christmas craft!

My simple card display {which I simply heart}.  Click here to see how to create your own!

Hope you & your family had a blessed Christmas full of the hope, joy, & peace only Jesus can bring!

Love & Happy New Year,

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas: 2011

This is one of my all time favorite Christmas songs!  Hope you enjoy!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mistletoe Misgivings


Remember the 'Dear Single Christmas Girl' post from last year {click here to read}?  Well, it's another year, another Christmas, & I'm still waiting solo under the mistletoe.  I don't know what it is about this year, but it feels harder somehow...  Perhaps it's going home to an empty apartment after watching couples holding hands at the mall & chivalrous guys opening car doors.  I just wonder is he really out there someone in this vast world... & if so, how will I ever find him?  Is he just a figment?  I need to go read that post again!  Hope you'll join me!  God is with us!  What am I worried about anyway?     

Christmas Love,

P.S.: Just keeping it real in this tough world! =)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Bookish Christmas

Yes, I love crafty Christmas-y things that are, at the same time, bookish!  This little Christmas tree art was pretty simple. Here's how to recreate it... 

What You'll Need:
 fabric (for the backing), a page from an old book =), seed beads, needle & thread (for stringing beads), scissors, buttons, glue, frame

What To Do:
Cut a tree out of the old book paper {I find folding the paper in half and cutting out one side of the tree is easiest}.  Next, string seed beads onto thread for a garland, & attach to tree with thread or tape.  Glue buttons on as ornaments.  Glue bedecked tree onto fabric.  Place in frame & enjoy!

Bookish Blessings,

P.S.: I made a paper chain out of ye olde book paper, too!  I heart the written {typed} word. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Song Love: "Jesus, Savior" by Chris August

Love it!

{5 Minute} Christmas Card Holder Tutorial

I love the idea of a simple homespun Christmas...  This being my 1st Christmas in my own home, it's easy to get caught up in a decorating frenzy that threatens to steal all my free time & totally deplete my hot glue gun stick collection.  Truth be told, this has been a very trying season for me.  Stuff just isn't going smoothly... to put it lightly.  So, I'm working to keep the decorating simple {yet chic} =) & focus on the true meaning of Christmas... which fills my weary heart with the hope, comfort, & confidence of my heavenly Father's love for His currently downtrodden daughter.  He is sooooo good... & I know He will lift up my downcast face & wipe away all the tears {& tear tracks} in His perfect time.  Love You, dear Father! 

What You Need: long ribbon {wide ribbon works well}; paper clips {I chose red & white ones}; Christmas cards =) {I could see this project being used for photos, too!}

What To Do:
Take the ribbon and tie a nice bow {you may want to sew a couple stitches to secure the bow - I, however, did not}.  Next, attach the Christmas cards {or photos} to the ribbon using the paper clips.  Lastly, carefully hang the back of the bow on a nail {covering the nail head}.  There you have it!  This was super simple... I'm so pleased with how it turned out!

Christmas Greetings
{with love from a girl & her God},

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Scrappy Christmas Blocks

Season's greetings, Gal Pals & readers everywhere!  Have some wooden blocks left over from a carpentry project?  Here's a great way to recycle 'em!  

All you need are scrapbooking papers/embellishments; old Christmas cards; ribbon; rubber stamps; glue/gluestick; etc. + wooden blocks, of course {which sadly aren't pictured below - I forgot}. =)

After designing, measuring, cutting, & gluing here's what I came up with...

I was so pleased, I made another... {But, I love the 1st one best.}

They both now sit snuggly on my tiny mantelpiece {which isn't really a mantelpiece at all, but this girl uses her imagination well}.  Can't wait to show you my Christmas-y apartment {truth be told, I can't wait to see it myself...I'm still working on it}!

Crafting Love,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

5 Minute {Or Less} Christmas Cuteness

I am so excited... it's my 1st Christmas in my apartment!  Yippee!  I must confess, I've already got the tree up & decorated {though I'm not done yet}!  Spreading Christmas cheer throughout the house is a dream, but it can be tiring, too.  So, here's 3 easy fixes to add seasonal cheer in mere minutes!  From my house to yours...

Easy-Peasy Ornaments

What You Need: clear (or plastic) bulb ornaments {available at craft stores}; tinsel {I heart vintage tinsels/glittery garlands}

What You Do: Pinch the little metal loop & pull the caps off your ornaments.  Insert tinsel into the opening carefully.  Insert as much as you want & then cut off the extra for the next ornament.  Finally, put the metal cap back on.  Ta da!  Simply chic, easy-peasy Christmas ornaments... perfect for hanging on the tree, stacking in a bowl, filling a vase, etc.!  


Instant Christmas Cookie Jar

What You Need: clear glass jar; Christmas scrapbook paper

What You Do: Measure your jar & cut your scrapbook paper accordingly.  Insert scrapbook paper.  Finito!  Hang a gift tag extra on the lid for an added touch. {Yes, I have a Hello Kitty toaster.} =)


Quick Christmas Wall Art

What You Need: Christmas scrapbook paper; frame

What You Do: Find a Christmas-themed scrapbook paper {or even a Christmas card} you love, frame it, & hang it.  Lickety split that was quick! =)

Christmas is coming fast!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

So Thankful

Thanksgiving Greetings, 2011

God has blessed us so greatly!

Thank You, dear Father, for our countless blessings... the greatest being the gift of Your Son, Jesus.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours! 
Count your blessings today (& everyday)!


P.S.: Here's some more {free} blessings for ya...

*Enter the code RGIFT2U for a free 8X10 collage print at Walgreens' online photo center (valid until 11/25/11).

*Enter the code STUDYBRK at Amazon to receive a $2 MP3 credit (valid until 11/28/11).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The {Jamie Grace} Joyful Girl Songbook {Compiled by Bess}

My Anthem

Stumbling upon the following videos was such a God thing! I love these sweet little sisses-in-Christ! They just make me happy & I love to sing along with Mandi... Mandi, if you ever read this: You rock, sister!  Okay, so all of these aren't Jamie Grace, but I had to add 'em anyways.

Love & Joy,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dollar Store Fall Crafts {Yeah!}

I was recently perusing my fave crafting blog “Ruffles & Stuff,” when I found this simple idea… Disney {that’s the fabulous blogger’s name (yes, really)} always inspires me. So, I took her project & ran with it!

Here’s my version…

What You Need:
glass vase (mine is from the Dollar Tree); small limbs/sticks (gather outside=); old books (I got mine out of a free box); scissors; pencil; glue; leaf pattern (optional); decorative moss (again, Dollar Tree); stones/pebbles (optional)

Pour a small layer of stones into your glass vase, and then place decorative moss on top of that layer. Insert sticks into moss at different angles. Next cut out (using a template or freehand) a bunch of leaf shapes from old book paper. Next, fold “leaves” a little to make them look more authentic & then glue onto branches {I also scattered a couple on the table, too, for a little extra effect.}. Finally, wrap a ribbon around the vase. There you have it, a simple, cheap chic easy fall fix for your table!
total cost: about $2

Autumn Leaf Garland

What You Need:
twine; silk flower leaves (I found 50 for $1 at the Dollar Tree!); needle/thread/scissors

This is so completely simple! I love it! All you have to do is sew (by hand) fabric leaves to your twine (you could also use hot glue). I alternated the colors (red, yellow, red, yellow) and left the spacing between leaves pretty much the same. I think I’m going to hang mine outside!
total cost: about $2

I hope to do some more crafting during my break!  It's very therapeutic!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Falling Back In

Hello Autumn!

Autumn always makes me smile.  It's pretty amazing that after all these 20-something years on this planet seasons still catch me by's funny...

As you know, I've been absent lately from Bess' Bag, but {thank You, Jesus}, I finally have a break from work and I'll be back in full force for the next week.  Let me tell you, girls, that my job has been the most uber stressful thing... I can't even begin to explain.  After so much prayer to find the right job, I'm not sure of the reason why God has brought me to this... but I don't have to.  The only thing I have to know is that He will bring me through.  I have felt Him carry me these past couple months when I couldn't imagine taking another step forward.  Jesus knows my pain & struggle {of this I'm very sure}, & I know He perfectly planned the following song to play on my car radio, too many times to count, as I've taken the dark winding path to work each morning...  I hope it gives you strength {His perfect kind, which we just can't understand or measure} to face whatever it is that stands in your path...

Autumn Love {with His perfect strength},

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."
-Philippians 4:13

Thank You, dear Lord, for showing up through my radio those dark early mornings, for giving me the power to continue & hold my head high as Your beloved, standing by my side, being for me, & carrying me when I couldn't go any further on my own strength... & for the comforting beautiful surprise of this season.
Love, Your Daughter Forever,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Missoni {For Target}

Missoni {for Target}

Well, Target has done it again...another designer collaboration to make us smile & run with our red carts blazing the trail ahead of us!  The buzz around the recent infamous fashion house's wares hitting the bullseye store has been great.  I can't wait to see if anything lasts until clearance time!  I sojourned to the nearest store today & saw some of the goods...adorable!  The prices are pretty steep (of course, no where near as high as typical Missoni pieces)...but still, if you're like me you'll wait and hope for clearance time.  While you wait, however, you can always scour local thrift stores & tag sales {I love autumn garage sales} for retro/vintage knits with similiar Missoni-esque zig-zag designs!


P.S.: I've been so busy!  I've missed you guys!

Missoni {for Target II}

Missoni {for Target III}

Missoni {for Target IX}

Missoni {for Target X}

Missoni {for Target XI}

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Back 2 Cool {School} =)

Back 2 Cool

Cool School

make it educational
Pouch Power

fit it all in
Wise Ole' Hoot

everything looks better with an owl

'Jot in Me' Journals

penny for your thoughts
Back to Cool {Jewelry}

school girl approved

Love & Learning,

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bess' Travel Diaries: England + Wales, Part 5

Dear Diary,

This land is filled with shopping delights!  I bought 2 frilly tunics for 5 Pounds each at a shop on Portobello Road.  It was my dream to stroll down London's world famous cheap & chic Saturday street market, & I actually did it!  There were street musicians, tons of stalls & tables, + a myriad of tiny appearing stores that once you entered you could get lost in.  Oh, but was it ever crowded!  You couldn't stroll so much as shuffle very slowly {or dangerously dodge in & out of the mob}.   

Cardiff Castle gift shop, Wales {above & below}

this Sleeping Beauty is quite the picky princess

Cardiff, Wales - I loved this stylish second-hand boutique shop window {they were collecting books for charity}

just push the big silver bow to enter =)

look who I spotted out & about collecting their {royal (& patriotic)} necessities

British shopping staples...

This shop {All Saints} is located in the Knotting Hill / Portobello Road area.  The entire window front & much of the walls & other vertical space inside is covered with antique sewing machines! 

even though it is right near Portobello Road's many flea-market-type venues, it is quite the upscale establishment

needless to say, I made no purchases here

Alice's is a famous little antique-brimmed shop on Portobello Road {I got so excited when I saw it}

Well, that concludes my travel diary {hope you've enjoyed it}!  Certainly it wasn't possible to share all the details & adventures, but I hit the highlights.  I still can't believe I went to England & Wales this summer!  Remember to keep those in London in your prayers (riots)...  I am so thankful that I was there when it was pretty peaceful!