Emphasizing the beauty of the small

Friday, April 17

"People often ask me why I emphasize beauty- art, candles, music, cups of tea, cinnamon rolls, great stories and books- as though these things are unnecessary and frivolous. I prioritize them because I want to bring the whole reality of God and His life into my home" - Sally Clarkson 

My heart gave a hearty AMEN when I read this quote in the book Own Your Life. Oh friends, isn't this so true? Small beauty, cultivated into our home is a magnificent thing. Life is hard and messy and stressful, but sometimes small beauties can bring the joy we need to relish right where we are at. I've been working 12 hour days with few breaks (seeing clients, full time school, part-time work) and I come home feeling like an 80 year old who just ran a marathon. But when I sit in my comfy chair with my feet up, drink some tea, listen to classical music on my record player, and admire the thriving plants in my room, this sense of beauty calms my spirit. It is a resting place. Selah. 

And isn't God the master creator of beauty? He who created the moon and stars, the mountains, the ocean, the rain forrest...master crafter of loveliness. THE ALPS PEOPLE!!! Who can stand in Switzerland and look at the Alps and not be inspired? Beauty...rest for our souls. {This here was a similar sentiment I had 2 summers ago as we spent time in Europe} 

And the amazing thing, beauty doesn't have to cost much! A cup of tea here, a few $2 plans from home depot there, a good book and a fantastic pandora station...and you are set:) When we invite others into beauty, they catch a deeper glimpse at who our God truly is. Isn't that amazing? 

Speaking of beauty, we are off to the central coast of California this weekend to visit some dear ones. Hope your weekend is full of beauty!! 

Give-Away // Bella Adele Co.

Wednesday, April 15

Ladies, you are in for a treat with today's give-away! Eeppp!! It includes gold and the sweetest designs you ever did see!! Rachel from Bella Adele Co. offers one of a kind gold foil prints. They are so dainty and perfect and I got the privilege of picking out my favorites and adding them to my room. What I love about these gold foil prints is that they add something special to a space...I smile every time I walk by my newly hung prints! They are tastefully designed, and each one is hand drawn by Rachel's sister and hand foiled by Rachel....truly all original designs! This is the real deal:)

 {and since you all know I LOVE to travel, I got a bit giddy with her amazing selection of adventure inspired prints!}

The other thing that I love about Bella Adele Co. is that Rachel stepped out and went after her dreams!! I'm always amazed by women that don't let fear get in the way of doing what they were created to do!! Starting a business is risky and scary, but Rachel stepped out and did it!! Let's be women that encourage others in their pursuits...we can be our best and biggest cheerleaders, right?!?!

Today, i'm giving away an 8x10 print to one lucky reader!! The winner gets to choose their favorite print! Here's how you enter...easy peasy!

1. Head over to Bella Adele Co's Etsy shop {here} and pick out your favorite design! Then, come back and leave a comment on this blog post with your print of choice!!
2. Follow Bella Adele Co. on Instagram @BellaAdeleCo
3. Follow Hope Engaged on IG @hopeengaged
4. The give-away ends on Monday April 20th. Winners will be notified via email!

That's it...SO SO easy!!! And even if you don't win, you can still head over to Bella Adele Co. and pick up a dreamy print for a great price- you can't beat the quality and creativity! $11 for a 5x7 and $18 for a 8x10.

And because Rachel is a dear, you can get FREE SHIPPING all week with the code HOPEENGAGED.

So, what better time to buy a print and support the launch of Bella Adele Co. than today??

{Below are a few pics of the sweet prints up in my room! I plan to get frames for them, but for now, they sit sweetly up on my wall with these easy-to-hang-hangers! I'm a pretty simple person, so these fit perfectly as a statement on my white walls!}

Cartagena, Colombia {Day 2} // And the BEST restaurants in the City

Monday, April 13

Our second full day in Cartagena we slathered on some sunscreen and took a taxi to Boca Grande. We sat on the beach in Boca Grande, read our books, swam in the ocean, and ate fresh mangos. I didn't bring my camera to the beach, so you'll just have to google image Boca Grande. In all honesty, I wasn't a huge fan of Boca Grande...if you're looking for a good beach in Cartagena, i'll be sharing about Isla del Encanto next week and that is worth visiting!!

After spending the full day at Boca Grande, we came back, showered and then headed back into the old walled city. The colors were SO beautiful!! Also, Cartagena has the BEST restaurants...we were so excited to find some of these gems:

1. Cono Gourmet: This restaurant was unbelievable! First of all, they are insanely affordable...and second of all they are creative! They offer 4 different wraps (rice wrap, plantain wrap, sweet wrap, and seaweed wrap). They fill each one with different ingredients, and the combinations they have are delicious. My favorite was the Costeno Cone. Make sure to hit this place up for a delicious lunch or dinner!! {Calle La Factoria # 36-40, Historical Center, Cartagena, Colombia}

2. La Paletteria: This is the cutest little home-made popsicle shop ever! They offer a wide variety of flavors, and there were even dairy-free options for me which I appreciated. The place was continually packed, as these popsicles were a sure-fire way to cool down from the heat of the sun! The flavors were fun and creative, and the store was adorably decorated. You will want to go here everyday!

3. Cafe San Alberto: If you are a coffee lover, you can't miss Cafe San Alberto! Known as some of the best coffee in the world, this sweet cafe offers legit pour over coffee that will have you coming back each day! The ambiance is super cute too, Kevin loved it!

We also tried a lot of street food too! Arepas (masa with cheese) are one of the most popular items being sold on the street, along with fresh fruit, empanadas and lemonade. We tried samplings all over town and were impressed with the yumminess!

Enjoy the colors of the city!! Happy Monday friends!

For more pictures of Cartagena see:
Cartagena {Day 1}
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

For more pictures of Cartagena see:
Cartagena {Day 1}
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas