If you are new here, I have a special weekly blog that I share fun stuff like what we have been up to, places we have visited, books we have read, pretty much anything that I feel you might be interested in. As well, I share people who are creative and talented and hope you will find them interesting too!

So let’s get started…

What kind of fun things have we been up to?

Annie is looking adorable with a fresh wreath on the door and string lights crisscrossing the garden.

Greenhouse with lakeview in background and string lights

The pool is finally done!!!

Infinity edge pool with lakeview

We had a fun picnic in our own back yard.

Picnic with a sunset and lakeview

We went for a peaceful float down a river last Sunday. It was a picture perfect day weather wise. As always there were some shenanigans…like Scott almost sinking (Scott is our daughter, Jenna’s boyfriend).

Our senses were filled with the sound of soft waves of water, the scent of evergreens and the alternating warmth and cool breezes as we floated between sunny and shady spots.

Reading, reading, reading…

I have also been carving out time every day to read. I love reading and had heard about this book called “Imagine Heaven” which is about near death experiences (NDE’s). It was fascinating! John Burke read 100’s of testimonies of NDE’s and their stories of heaven and hell were gripping. I never wanted to put the book down.

The most impactful part for me, was when each person was asked

“What have you done with the life you have been given?”

That simple question kind of shook my world and the feelings I had about my life.

The NDE’s said it didn’t matter what job they held or what business success they had but rather the way they treated people and how they made people around them feel. This book has lit a fire in me to live whatever time I have by truly doing my best to make people feel loved.

AND TO ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING SPECIAL WITH THIS BEAUTIFUL LIFE I HAVE BEEN GIVEN!

Exciting news…

In July, I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia for a blogger’s conference. I learned so much and am excited about the future and new ventures I am following.

I also met with a number of brands and am currently working on some collabs. I am excited to announce that I will definitely be working with King of Christmas and a beautiful 9 foot flocked tree is on it’s way to my house. I cannot wait to share it with all of you.

We stayed at the Hyatt and it was so pretty. They had a private garden that I was simply at peace in.

Hyatt Atlanta Waterf eature
Japanese water feature
Zen garden at the Hyatt Atlanta

Friendships

Going to the conference was a thrill and I am so thankful to my family for encouraging me to go. I also must thank my wonderful mentor, KariAnne Wood for supporting me along this whole journey and even setting me up to meet with a Literary Acquisitions Manager for a publishing house. Thank you KariAnne for being the most inspiring and kind person I know.

If you don’t know who KariAnne is, please check out her blog by clicking this link. She shares DIY’s, decorating and fashion tips, and the most heart warming stories.

I was also adopted by the most lovely group of women, most of whom had attended the conference in previous years. They helped me prepare in advance, made sure I was never lonely and always had dinner reservations for the best restaurants. I am so grateful for their friendship and support.

As a thank you, I would like to share each one of them and their blogs. Please check them out – each one is talented and inspirational in their own unique way. They have kindly allowed me to share their photos so that you can get a sense of what they do.

I didn’t want to pay favorites so I put them in alphabetical order.

Erin – Erin Evolving

Erin’s photography is exquisite. She has a way of not only capturing the beauty of a room but also the atmosphere. It is honestly, like you are standing right in the room that she is taking a photo of. I always feel at peace when I view her photos and that is a reflection of the heart of Erin. She is a sweet, kind and intelligent woman.

Missy – Sonata Home Design

Missy has a way with color like no one I have ever met before. Her ability to bring together colors, patterns and textures and make them all perfectly cohesive is inspiring. She offers design tips on Instagram lives called “Decorating on the Dot”. If you want to step out of your neutral comfort zone, Missy is your girl!!!

Regina – Saved from Salvage

Not only is Regina talented and creative but if you ever get a chance to spend time with her, you better wear your Depends! She will have you laughing the entire time. Her spirit and witty nature is such a treat. I also love the way she decorates with in natural elements and how much interest she brings to every project.

Susan – Hen and Horse Design

Susan is an absolute sweetheart. From being a ballerina to owning race horses, her life is full and interesting. She will take you on vintage shopping adventures, show you how she decorates with all her finds and she also has a shop where you can buy all these lovely pieces. She also bakes for a shop in her area. Susan – is there anything you can’t do?

Wendy – WM Design House

Wendy is a going concern!!! How much she packs into a day is unreal. Her talent and creativity always amazes me. Honestly, she is better than Martha Stewart! She has been featured in magazines and shares the best diy projects on Thursdays in her She Shed on Instagram.

I hope you check each one of these ladies out. There is a link to their websites on each of their names. Check them out – you will not be disappointed!

I hope you are having a most beautiful summer and that the week ahead is filled with lovely surprises!

See you next week, where I already know I will be sharing photos of the most amazing storm, a pretty wall urn that I planted and so much more!!!

What do you think?

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8 Comments
  • Missy
    August 21, 2022

    Oh my goodness, Crystal! With this post, I went from “ooh-ing and ah-ing” to chills from your amazing quote to feeling teary-eyed at how perfectly you captured the spirit of each one of us in our little group. You are a treasure and I know how lucky I am to count you as my friend! Your home and blog are stunning and beautiful and your friendship is priceless! Sending lots of love your way! ~Missy

    • Crystal
      August 21, 2022

      Thank you so much Missy! We are so lucky to have this beautiful group of women who support and love one another. I am so thankful you all allowed me to join your group. And yes, that quote – I think of it every day and throughout the day. I wish I had read that book when I was a young teenager. I think I would have lived my life very differently. Thanks again for such a lovely comment!!!

  • Regina
    August 21, 2022

    Crystal. Loved this! I gave read several books on NDE’s. I am so drawn to them. Thanks for the suggestion of the book and for sharing your takeaways. I have to agree, the friendship part of Haven was the best. If not for you all, I’d have spent most of the time in my room. Praying for good outcomes from your book chat at Haven. Hugs.

    • Crystal
      August 21, 2022

      My kids think it is weird that I am so fascinated by NDE’s so I am so happy to hear you are too! So is Susan. You are so right, the friendship part of Haven was the best part. Thank you for your kind comment and yes, I am hoping things will come to pass regarding the book 😉

  • Susan
    August 21, 2022

    oh my my! Crystal you are such a sweetheart. I cannot thank you enough for the kind words you’ve expressed. You have captured each of us and our spirit with your words. (I am also interested in NDE”s, having read a book years ago that had a similar impact as you experienced) Being able to meet you in person after all these months was the best! You are a wonderful addition to our ‘little tribe’ and I cannot wait to see all that you do in the future! XO Susan

    • Crystal
      August 21, 2022

      Thank you so much Susan! My family bugs me for being so fascinated with NDE’s so I am thrilled to hear you and Regina are also interested in them too! Great minds think alike right? So happy we met. Thursday’s at 3 pm are one of my favorite times each week.

  • Wendy McMonigle
    August 22, 2022

    Oh MY! that was an awesome post. I wish I could float down that river with you and visit those gorgeous gardens. Your Annie and her surrounding gardens look just stunning. All lit up. I hope one day I can visit, and we can sit out there and chat.
    You are one amazing gal, and I am so glad we met on this blogging journey.
    Thank you so much for the sweet words. You are such a doll.

    • Crystal
      August 27, 2022

      Wendy you coming for a visit would be wonderful! I can also see our whole group floating down the river and laughing the whole way :). I am so happy we met too. You have been an incredible help and such a beautiful friend. I appreciate you so much!