Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving & His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him & praise His name." 
-Psalm 100:4

I hope sometime today you find a moment to stop, count your blessings, & thank God.  He is good & faithful always.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

5 Scrapbooking Essentials

5 Scrapbook Essentials
I've been into scrapbooking for what feels like forever, but I confess I'm terrible at finishing projects.  Last year's Christmas mini album is still sitting disassembled in a box in my closet.  {Sad.}  But I'm working on improving - cause while it's fun to work on a scrapbook layout or album, it's most satisfying to actually finish one!  Never gotten into scrapbooking or a beginner?  Here's 5 essentials to get you started...  {You'll have to supply the chutzpah to see it through, as no anti-procrastinating drugs have been safely passed by the FDA.} =) 

1. ALBUM: Plain albums are typically cheaper & can be easily personalized & jazzed up.
2. PAGE PROTECTORS: Make sure they're the right size for your album/photos.
3. EMBELLISHMENTS: Let your creativity take over! Whether you're a minimalist or your motto is "the more, the better" – make your album your own!
4. JOURNALING CARDS: These are the perfect place for captions & jotting down memories.
5. PHOTOS: Whether it's special occasions, milestones, or everyday shots, photos make the scrapbook!

Scrapbooking Love,

P.S.: Do you scrapbook?  Are you a Project Life-er? =) Are you contemplating creating a December Daily?  Leave a comment with your memory keeping thoughts.

P.P.S.: Linking up with Kiki & the gang! =)
In Its Time

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Blessings Wall DIY

I wanted a way to document my blessings, as well as my friends' & family's who stop by.  Here's what I came up with!

What You Need:
brown wrapping paper {I got mine at the Dollar Tree (it has a design on one side, but is plain on the other)}; thumb tacks {2-4}; chalk

What You Do:
Secure your wrapping paper to the wall with thumb tacks.  {I used only one roll this year {hoping this will be the start of a tradition}, but I think it would be cool if you used several & covered an entire wall with blessings - especially if you're having a big shindig!}  If you, however, have a bumpy/stucco wall, I suggest you tack one or more thin foam poster boards underneath your brown paper, so you'll have a smoother surface to write on.  Add your blessings & invite your guests to do the same.  Make sure to keep the chalk nearby!

Quick Tip: You can easily create a point on a new piece of chalk by using a regular hand held pencil sharpener.  Try it!

Love & Blessings,

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bess Style: Plaid is Rad!

I love a good plaid!  I think it comes from the tartan-esque feel & my Scottish fetish.  Add ruffles & it's two of my faves in one!  Here's what I'm wearing:

peplum sweater {tucked into skirt}...Ann Taylor LOFT {thrifted}
wide belt...Banana Republic {thrifted}
plaid ruffle skirt...American Living {JCPenney}
ankle wedge boots...Old Navy {thrifted}

Style Love,

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Zondervan Plush Bible Review

This Bible from Zondervan's "Plush Bible Collection" makes me smile & think of godly girly-girls everywhere!  It's a standard print NIV {Old & New Testament} featuring a padded hardcover {hence the "plush" feel} in pink sparkle leopard.  The sparkle part can't truly be seen in the picture, but can be easily seen in person as tiny little silvery shiny specks all over the furry cover.  The pink presentation page {with accompanying verse, Psalm 119:105, “Your Word is a lamp for my feet, & a light on my path.”} found in the very front makes this Bible perfect for gift giving purposes.  The font is easy to read & the size seems just right {not too big, not too small} & Jesus' words are in traditional red print.  A short preface from the Committee on Bible Translation can be found in the front, outlining the background of this updated New International Version.  A "Table of Weights & Measures" can be found in the back.  The Bible definitely does have a plush, yet sturdy feel, & there’s certainly no need for a Bible cover.  This trendy & stylishly-covered NIV would be perfect for tweens, teens, college girls, or any pink/purple leopard loving woman. =)

Bookish Love,

*I received this Bible as a complimentary copy from the publisher (through the BookLook Blogger program) in exchange for my honest review.

A Message of Strength in Christ From Naghmeh Abedini

Naghmeh  Abedini's husband, Pastor Saeed Abedini, has been imprisoned in Iran for about 2 years for refusing to deny Christ & for preaching the Gospel even while in prison.  Suffering unknown torture, beatings, & mistreatment, he continues to stand strong through Christ Jesus, as does his wife, who you will hear from in the video.  I hope it blesses you deeply, too, & helps you to seek abiding in Christ whatever struggle & pain you are facing today.  

Love in Christ,

P.S.: To hear a little more from this message click here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

6 Easy DIY Napkin Rings

I love the idea of using cloth napkins, but in all honesty, I get around to actually using em once in a blue moon.  I want to change that, & so I thought if I fashioned some napkin rings I'd get into using them on a more regular basis.  Here's hoping!  I think these would be a fabulous addition to the upcoming holiday dinner table!  

Super Easy:
1. Fill little drawstring sacks with candies & tie around napkins.  In this case, the napkin ring can double as a favor for guests to take with them!

2. Fold the napkin in a square or rectangle & tie present-style with tinsel or ribbon.

3. Look for over-sized buttons like these at the craft store {though any button will do}.  Thread twine or thin ribbon crisscross through the buttonholes & tie around your napkin, securing in the back with a loose knot or bow.

Bit More Work, But Still So Easy:
4. String beads onto craft wire & form into a small circle by twisting wire ends together.  Take plain gift tags or labels & personalize with each guests' name & tie around the napkin rings.  Not only will each guest feel special, but they'll know right where to sit!

5. Cut thin strips of felt {mine are approximately 1 1/2 in. X 6 in.}.  Take a button & sew it onto one end of the felt strip & carefully snip a hole with scissors in the other end {make sure the hole will fit your button well}.

6. Again, string beads onto craft wire {or you could use jewelry elastic} & form into a small circle by twisting the wire ends together {or by tying a knot if you're using elastic}.  Create a simple tassel & secure around your napkin ring at the place where you twisted the wires together {your tassel will work great to conceal any visible wires}.

DIY Love,

P.S.: I hope this has inspired you to get busy & create your own napkin rings for all the little special days that fill up the calendar {all 365 of em}!  I love a bit of fancy in the midst of regular life, & in my book, napkin rings are pretty fancy stuff. =)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

FREE Music Alert!

MusicalityYou know how I shared that I love Sara Groves' music in my latest "Currently" post? Well, right now you can get her song "When the Saints" {one of my many favorites from her} for free + 9 more from various Christian artists!  All you must do is sign-up to get CCM's {Christ - Community - Music} e-mail updates.  Pretty painless for 10 free songs, right?  Click here to sign-up & get your free music!

Love Ya,

P.S.: Isn't free stuff grand?  I'm thinking Jesus' gift of everlasting life & forgiveness through His sacrifice on the cross for us.  Free stuff is the best!!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Trending: Faux-Fur Vests {With Styling Tips}

Trending: Faux-Fur Vests
Have you seen these furry vests popping up all over this autumn?  From Target to Forever21 {showcased here} to high-end designers, these vests are the cat's pajamas!  But, don't fret they're all faux!

Not sure how to style one of these?  Keep reading & let that fear of resembling a yak or cave girl go the way of the woolly mammoth!  {That is, extinct.}

Faux-Fur Vest Tip 1.
Furry vests aren't actually anything new, they've been around before. They can definitely have a boho/hippie feel & what better way to pair em than with a vintage-style, patterned frock?

Faux-Fur Vest Tip 2.
Most fur vests are collarless, which makes them the perfect match for a collared shirt {or bow blouse}.  Dress it down with a chambray shirt or make it work-appropriate with a pretty silk button-down.

Faux-Fur Vest Tip 3.

Make it fit for a fancy dinner out by pairing it over a top or dress with a sequined, lacy, or otherwise fabulously embellished sleeve.

Faux-Fur Vest Tip 4.
Maybe the furry vest just isn't your style.  You can still try out the faux-fur trend, just go for smaller bits of fluff.

Style Love,

P.S.: How do you wear any furry wardrobe pieces?

Friday, November 7, 2014

3 Free Thanksgiving Printables {+ Font}!

I'm all about giving Thanksgiving its own special place.  Don't get me wrong, I'm uber-excited about the approach of Christmas {my favorite holiday ever}, but I don't want to miss the grateful heart & autumnal beauty of the current season.  In honor of Thanksgiving {& its cozy, homespun feel}, I've whipped up 3 simple printables to remind you to savor this November.  The font used for these is called "Autumn Gifts" by West Wind Fonts & is 100% free {click here to get it for yourself & create even more}!

I designed these with no background to save your ink {you're welcome}, & so you can print them on colored paper or scrapbook paper with a minimal design {if you wish} + Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all those simple gifts & blessings we often overlook.  There's a beautiful fanciness to not being fancy sometimes.

INSTRUCTIONS: Click on each image, then right click & save to your computer {or copy & paste}.  Open in a word document, resize if necessary, print, & have a blessed Thanksgiving!

CONDITIONS OF USE FOR PRINTABLES: My printables are free for personal use only. Feel free to share them on Pinterest provided you credit & link back to {Bess' Bag}. If you want to blog about these printables, or share a project you created using them, it would be fabulous, just be sure to credit & link back to {Bess' Bag} (feel free to use 1 or 2 photos, but please don't share the actual printable on your site - just add a link to it). Thanks & enjoy!

Love for the Printing,

P.S.: Gather together.  Give thanks.  Count blessings.  Repeat.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Currently {November}

+Looking forward to celebrating my b-day more this weekend!  28 years, man!

+Creating tissue paper tassels & other Thanksgiving-y projects that I can't wait to share soon.  I've had a couple fails & made a few messes, but it's all good.

+Drinking Alka-Seltzer Plus trying to get over my second icky cold of autumn!

+Looking for a great classic {that I've never read} to dive into on this start of my 28th year.  Any suggestions?

+Loving the coziness of this season!  {You know what I mean?}

+Thankful that I live in a country where I can vote.

+Counting my blessings!  God is good!!!

+Listening to Sara Groves tunes.  I find her lyrics so thoughtful & real.

+Excited about the holiday season we're on the cusp of!  Giddy about it, really!


P.S.: What are you up to lately?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Another Year Older

Happy Birthday!

Yep, it's my birthday & I'm excited about it!  Sometimes we {especially us females} have trouble making peace with adding yet another candle to the cake & ahem, aging.  I've been there, too - when that age that you're turning seems so old - which I think it always does {or at least has the potential to}!  

Adding years is all a part of living this life God has for you!  He's given us only so much time on this planet & it's a mystery to how long we've got... so we've got to make each day count.  Whether it's your real honest-to-goodness birthday today or an un-birthday day, celebrate, live joyfully, share the good news of Jesus, love, laugh, cry, seek His grace & forgiveness, keep marching, pray, & live this life you've been given - oh, & blow out every candle each year with abandon!

Love {The One Year Older},


P.S.: Don't forget to make a wish!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Song Love {November}

"Beautiful" by Dan Bremnes

"What We're Here For" by The Afters

"No Man is an Island" by Tenth Avenue North

Musical Love,

Monday, November 3, 2014


First time buying gourds for fall!  I love how they are strangely sculptural {God makes amazing things, doesn't He!}  The lady that sold them said when they begin to go bad to plant them in an old flower bed & next year there should be gourds aplenty {with little work}.  Love that, but don't think my apt. people would be so amused.  I can see it now, I went straight over the typical cat fetish & became the "Crazy Gourd Lady."

A fallish bouquet - because sometimes you just have to buy yourself a bunch of flowers.  Just cause.  {Click here to learn how to recreate this DIY vase.}

A sweet little note from a little {1st grade} girl I subbed for last week.  Tiny blessings like this make my day!

I found these boots in perfect condition at a thrift shop for about $6!

Snapshot Love,

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hello November!

Hello November!

I've been waiting for you.
Waiting for your cozy festivities
& gatherings with frosty breath -
A harvest of dear ones - silver & gold -
Glowing round a table -
As a wreath of love.
A recounting of blessings - old & new -
Sweet November, may we carry 
Your grateful heart
Eternally - all the year through.