Caravan Sonnet

7/29/16

Chloe + Isabel Semi-Annual Sale

Y'all know how much I love jewelry and being a merchandiser for Chloe + Isabel! Well I am so excited to share that for the next 2 days the Semi-Annual Sale is happening!! If you have ever wanted to purchase some beautiful pieces of jewelry for yourself (or to get started on your Christmas list!) this is the time! So many beautiful pieces are up to 65% off and are going fast!! (You can shop the sale in my boutique by clicking HERE!)

Here are some of my favorites:

This beautiful ring was $38 dollars and has now been marked down to $13!! I love the look of it and it is simply a gorgeous ring to have for all different season. 

Gilded Ivory Statement Bracelet

The lovely vintage looking Gilded Ivory Statement Bracelet is such a beautiful and timeless piece that can be worn with several bracelets or simply worn alone. It was originally $52 and is now on sale for $31!!

Dainty Leather + Bead Bracelet

This sweet and lovely bracelet is a steal at only $10!! It would be a perfect addition to your jewelry collection or to put aside for a Christmas gift!

Medina Turquoise Stackable Rings

The stackable rings have always been a favorite of mine. I love that you can wear them in a variety of different ways. Originally $38 these beautiful rings are on sale now for $13!!

Retro Pavé Stud Earrings

The Retro Pave Stud Earrings are a favorite of mine that I often slip on for a pop of color. They are dainty and yet bold and are a lovely option now reduced from $32 to $16!!

Retro Pavé Cocktail Ring

Matching the above earrings and from the same lovely collection is the Retro Pave' Cocktail Ring. It is a steal at $16 and is one of my favorite rings! (Interested in a different color? Check out the sale page to see the other beautiful colors in the Retro Pave' Cocktail Ring collection!)


Malachite + Pavé Convertible Necklace

Looking to add a necklack to your collection? This beautiful convertible necklace is the perfect addition - especially as a transitional piece from summer to fall. Originally $52 it is now marked down to $18!!

Atlas Statement Ring

Do you love to make a statement with your rings? Check out the beautiful Atlas Statement Ring. It is the perfect addition to your ring collection and is a steal at only $13!!

I have loved all of my pieces that I own by Chloe + Isabel but especially love my 

Modern Convertible Torsade Necklace

This necklace is the perfect addition to wear to dress up or down and is a unique style statement piece. It features handmade brass chains loosely braided with shimmering glass beads and droplets and is simply gorgeous. I have never seen it go on sale before (it is a best -selling piece in the Chloe + Isabel family) but is now marked down from $148 to $74!! 

So these are some of my favorite pieces from the sale - what are yours? Don't forget that ALL of Chloe + Isabel's pieces come with a lifetime guarantee on each of their products. Thank you so much for shopping in my boutique! My commission for this month will be going to help pay for my medical bills. Thank you again! You can click HERE to go directly to my boutique!

7/26/16

10 Helpful Tips for Solo Female Travelers

Typically when you think of traveling you think of traveling the world with another person, yet sometimes this doesn't happen or you want to set off an amazing adventure by yourself. As a single gal I have had lots of experiences of traveling alone. Sometimes it has been fun, other times awkward, sometimes full of joy, and other times there have been some tears. But above all else I definitely have learned a lot about myself and grown as a person as I discovered the world in new ways. Today I want to share with you my 10 helpful tips for solo female travelers to help you on your next adventure. 

(1) Practice Safety always
One of the things that is most important is to make sure that you are always being safe. Remember that you must be your eyes and ears to ensure that you stay safe and that you keep all of your belongings with you. Sometimes this can be a source of frustration (when you need to take all of your luggage with you to the bathroom) but remember that it is important to never take chances and choose safety always. 

Often with travel theft and harassment are the two biggest areas of concerns for women. Be aware that both of these things are real and take the extra precautions to avoid these very unfortunate situations. Be practical and use your brain remembering to take the extra time to be safe. 

(2) Live by a Code.
Always have a code with your loved ones back home about how often you will check in, how long to leave between a missed check-in and contacting the authorities, and have code words in case you are in an emergency situation. All of these things are simple parts of safety that should never be overlooked.

(3) Research Everything Completely Before Your Trip
One of the best things you can do before you travel alone is to research everything completely before you leave. Take the time to look up important safety information, call your lodgings, know emergency numbers, find out the best taxi service to use, find out the best neighborhoods to visit and the streets to avoid, and even find out where the closest hospital is if you have an emergency. By taking the time to research before your trip you will not only be well prepared for anything that could happen, but will be able to have confidence as you have your adventure.

(4) Portray Confidence.
The absolute worst thing that you can do for yourself is to look like you are worried or fearful or you are not sure of what you are doing. Even if you get lost (it happens to all of us!) remain calm and portray confidence. Remember all of the research that you did before your trip and have confidence that you can handle any situation thrown at you. Sometimes things go wrong and sometimes it takes longer to get to a place because you are traveling alone, but by staying confident you will be able to think more calmly and enjoy your trip more fully. 

(5) Know that you may get Lonely and Recognize the Gift that it is. 
Traveling alone can bring out some "travel blues" if you let it- especially if you are planning a journey that will be long term. The beautiful thing is about this is that we all get lonely at different times in our lives. By facing this head on (often without the ability to "fix it", you learn more about yourself, and truly grow as a person. There is a beauty to discovering that you can not only fall in love with people, but with yourself and the life that God has given you. Solo travel brings this out in unique ways and is a gift. (Looking for some encouraging verses about traveling alone? Check out my post, The Single Journey and Travel by clicking HERE!) 

(6) Guard Your Heart... and Don't Trust People Too Quickly
It can be really tempting (especially if you are struggling with feeling lonely) to want to connect with others and find a tribe immediately. The beautiful thing is that from traveling I have met and connected with some of my dearest friends. But the reality is that sometimes con artists have mastered the skills at befriending lonely travelers (especially solo female travelers) and this can cause heartache and lots of trouble. Before you start sharing all of your personal information take the time to really get to know people. Always err on the side of caution and remember that trust is built over time. 

(7) Always Travel During the Day if Possible
It is just a fact that more things can go wrong at night than during the day so try to always travel in the daytime if possible. If you do have to travel during the night remember to use safety precautions and always use trusted and reliable transportation. 

Before your trip try to plan this part out as much as possible. The reality is that with time changes, lack of a "work schedule" (if you are traveling for fun), distractions, etc. it can be really easy to lose track of not only the date and day of the week it is but also of the time. 

(8) Dress Like a Local
Even when traveling with someone it is fun and wise to dress like a local, but especially if you are traveling alone. One of the easiest ways to attract the wrong type of attention, the type that screams "tourist" is by wearing outfits that don't blend into the culture that you are visiting. This is especially true for women who are traveling to countries where dress for women is particularly conservative. In your research make sure to find out about the local dress and try to blend in as you visit.

(9) Learn the Basics of the Local Language
Part of your research before your trip should be to learn some of the basics of the local language where you will be. Having basic words in the local language for directions, asking for help, basic needs, etc. will help you as you travel alone. There are so many free resources online for many of the world's most popular languages that it is easy to be prepared before your trip. (Don't have time or don't have an ear for languages? Pack a small phrase book to help you!)

(10) Always have a Backup Plan
Even with the best research before your trip things can not go as planned. I remember one time when I was traveling alone arriving at a hotel that I did not feel safe at at all. I had researched thoroughly  the hotel had received numerous reviews (all positive) and had sounded like a perfect place to stay and it just was not. I quickly left the hotel and went to my backup hotel for the night. I later found out that the night that I was supposed to be at that original hotel there had been numerous assaults on women. It was heartbreaking. My point in this story is to trust your instincts, prepare for a backup plan, and use it when necessary. Sometimes, even with all of the research in the world you don't know somethings until you arrive.

Also have a backup plan in regards to extra money, copies of important documents, etc. All of these things are so important when you are traveling alone. 

 Have you traveled alone? What are your helpful hints for Solo Female Travelers?

7/25/16

Miracles from Heaven

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #shareyourmiracles #MiraclesfromHeaven #CollectiveBias

Do you ever dream of watching a movie that moves you and inspires you? I do. I love movies that are based on true stories and where I am encouraged and inspired to live more boldly, more courageously, with more faith, and with more hope. In this difficult time in life with this health journey that I am  on I need that inspiration. But to be frank, in these difficult times that we are living in I think we all need to be reminded of inspiration and hope. Miracles From Heaven is one of those movies. 
Miracles From Heaven is the true story of the Beam family, a Texas churchgoing family who had three adorable little girls. One night, Annabel Beam begins to develop stomach pain and vomiting which continues over the course of several months with doctors offering an array of inaccurate diagnosis until she is correctly diagnosed with a rare and potentially fatal intenstinal motility disorder. The movie follows the story of a period of time with Christy Beam (Annabel's mom) and family searching for answers, Christy's crisis of faith, and ultimately the miraculous healing of Annabel. 

As a lady going through a health journey I found myself relating to Annabel, her questions about why God hadn't healed her, relating to Christy's struggle with her faith, relating to the questions and insensitive comments that other Christians have made in regards to faith and healing, and ultimately relating to Christy's beautiful falling deeply in love with the Lord and her discovery that miracles happen every single day around us. You can read more about the movie at its landing page, HERE.
I laughed throughout the movie, was inspired to find joy, wept at the brokenness of sickness in our world, and ultimately walked away inspired to see the miracles of each day that we have in our lives. As I walked away from watching the movie I have spent time each day remembering the miracles that I am experiencing. As I take the time to see all of the beauty that exists I am inspired and encouraged in new ways to search for hope each and everyday. 
I have been so touched by the Miracles From Heaven social media community, including the Facebook groupthe Twitter account, and the Instragram feed. And as I walk among the trees that are on our property and see trees in national parks I am forever changed by this story. I remember the way that the Lord saved a little girl and created a miracle in a tree and am reminded of hope in my own story and in finding hope in miracles. I am also so thankful. My miracles everyday are my beautiful family, my amazing friends, and you, my lovely readers who continue to support and encourage me in my writings and my blog.

Miracles From Heaven is an uplifting movie that is full of faith, love, and spirit. I am confident that you would walk away feeling as inspired as I did to find the joy in each day. (And guess what? When you purchase Miracles From Heaven $1 of your purchase will be donated to the Children's Miracle Network. Not only will you be purchasing a wonderful movie to enjoy, but you will be helping change the life of a child. You can purchase the movie at Walmart and it is now available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital. You can also purchase the movie on Amazon by clicking HERE.)

Have you seen this movie? What is your miracle today? What are you most thankful for? 

The Single Journey and Travel

Photo found on internet - altered by Caravan Sonnet
“The Lord watches over you...”
-Psalm 121:5-

One of the real aspects of walking the single journey is the reality that there may be times that we have to travel alone. Singles may meet up with friends or family members at some point in the travel but there are times that we will need to travel alone in this world. Whether it is a short or long car trip. or a flight across the country. or a flight to the other side of the world, I have found incredible comfort in Psalm 121:5 and in the truth, “the Lord watches over you…” (Psalm 121:5). 

As we travel let us pray that when we drive that the Lord will be with us and keep us safe. Let us ask Him to help us focus on the road before us and keep our heads clear during long car trips when we could get distracted. We may feel that a road trip is more “fun” or “better” with a physical companion, but this is a unique opportunity and time where we can spend it in prayer with the Lord. As the miles roll beneath the wheels of our cars, let us pray that during this season of road trips alone we would make sweet memories of growing closer to the Lord. 

In the years before I got sick I lived a wide range of hours away from my family due to schooling, jobs, and where the Lord had called me. At one point I lived almost 12 hours away and it was a long car trip home by myself. I asked the Lord to help me with these long trips and to use this time to grow closer to Him. I wanted to use the time that I had and be purposeful with it. I bought several christian devotional books on tape, purchased the Bible on tape, and purchased new worship music for each of my trips. As I would rotate the things I would do (each hour I did something different alternating between listening to a devotional book, the Bible, worship, and prayer) the time literally flew. As I look back on my long car trips over a 7 year period of time I now see them as some of the sweetest times with Jesus that are truly precious to me. 

 “The Lord watches over you- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.” 
-Psalm 121: 5-6-

When you travel in any form of transportation this verse has brought me comfort and encouragement. Commit these verses to heart- know that the Lord watches over you and cling to the promise that nothing will harm you. Our mighty Lord "watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4). If we have to fly let us pray that God will watch over the plane and keep us safe. “The Lord will keep you from all harm- he will watch over your life.” (Psalm 121:7) No matter how we travel let us remember that God would surround His angels around us and keep us safe. “For He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go.” (Psalm 91:11). 

Let us remember that we never truly travel alone. The Lord is always with us. He is our sun and our shield. 

“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” 
-Psalm 121:8- 

7/19/16

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe// California

Several weeks ago, when we were in California we spent a delightful Saturday driving up to Lake Tahoe to drive to Emerald Bay. Y'all, it was absolutely stunning. 
It is about a 3 1/2 hour drive from San Francisco and it was absolutely worth every single minute of the gorgeous drive. I fell in love with this beautiful area of the country and can't wait to go visit it again.
Emerald Bay, which is located in Emerald Bay State Park, in Lake Tahoe, is a beautiful National Land mark.
The park is easily accessible by driving on California State Route 89 near the southwest shore of the lake. The lookouts that we stopped at to spend some time were absolutely breathtaking and it is so easy to see why Emerald Bay is one of Lake Tahoe's most photographed locations.
While there was tons of people visiting the area, it was still extremely easy to locate parking and walk the short distance to the lookouts.
We stood in awe at the beauty that surrounded us from the bay below to the tall towering mountains and trees above us.
Emerald Bay also features Vikingsholm, a 38-room mansion that is considered by architects to be one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States. The Vikingsholm was built in the late 1920s by Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight as a summer home. Mrs. Knight may be best well-known for building Vikingsholm, but she and her husband were also the main financial backers of Charles Lindbergh's non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927. 

Before construction began, Mrs. Knight and her architect, Leonard Palme (her nephew) traveled to Scandinavia to research the construction of the home. Due to this some parts of the mansion contain no nails or spikes, yet most of the materials used to build the structure came from Lake Tahoe. 
Mrs. Knight desired to build a summer home in this area because Emerald Bay reminded her of her many trips to the Fjords. Mrs. Knight and her husband enjoyed many years at her summer home before her death in 1945. After this the land was sold to a rancher from Nevada and then sold to Harvey West, a lumberman from California. It was Mr. West, who was known as a philanthropist who sold the land to the state of California in 1953.  

Visitors can visit Vikingsholm in the summer months by parking cars at the Vikingsholm parking area (there is a fee of $10) and hike the steep 1 mile down to the property. There are tours that take place throughout the summer and more information can be found at the Vikingsholm website. Visitors with disabilities may contact Vikingsholm to make arrangements.
Emerald Bay also contains the only island to be found in Lake Tahoe, Fannette Island. Over the years the island has been called a variety of different names, but is typically referred to as Fannette Island.
As you look closely at the island you can see that there is the ruins of a small stone building, which was the "tea house" that was constructed by Mrs. Knight. 
The tea house was constructed at the same time that Vikingsholm was built. Mrs. Knight had stone hauled to the island to construct the 16x16 tea house. Mrs. Knight would bring her guests to the tea house a couple of times each summer. 

Before Mrs. Knight constructed her tea house in 1929, the island was the home of Captain Dick Barter in the late 1800s. The captain, who had a reputation of being extremely eccentric, built his own tomb and chapel on the island. Ironically he never spent much time there as he was lost in a storm in 1873. Rumor has it that Mrs. Knight liked to embellish the stories about the sea captain to her visitors when they went to the tea house. 

If you would like to visit the island, it is accessible by boat, kayak, or canoe. Visitors are not allowed to swim to the island due to the extremely cold waters and the boat traffic that is in the area. 
After we had spent some time at the overlook we continued to drive around the lake and saw a space to pull over on the road on the opposite side that we had just been on. The views from the opposite side were equally as breath-taking, allowing us to see more of the opposite mountain range that surrounds the Lake .
The views from every direction were absolutely stunning! We were completely in awe. Have you ever visited Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe? I can't recommend taking a trip to this beautiful area of the country enough. It was simply gorgeous.

7/18/16

25 Ways to Fall in Love with Summer as a Single Woman

picture found on internet, altered by Caravan Sonnet
When I was 15 years old I and several other girls spent the night at one of our friends house to celebrate the end of school and the beginning of summer. Her mom had rented several summer themed movies for us all to watch. As I look back now I see that all of these movies had a similar theme- finding a summer love. 

As a single gal who loves summer more than any other season, I admit that for me summer is one of the hardest times of being single. For some people the holidays are hard, for others, like my self, a different season, like the summer is a time of deep surrendering our hopes and dreams. But as I have said so many times here before on the blog, we don't want to waste any of the time that the Lord has for us in any season of life He has called us to. We don't want to miss out on the beautiful things that He is doing now. So if you are single and looking for ideas on how to celebrate this specific season here are 25 lovely ideas to help you fall in love with your life, with this season, and most of all fall more in love with the Lord: 

1. Choose a theme to study in scripture and meditate on this throughout the summer. As the summer is the perfect time to be creative, consider combining your study of scripture with creativity, like journaling scripture verses in unique ways


3. Read new books. Looking for suggestions? Check out my top 5 books that have impacted my life HERE

4. Spend time with your family and friends. Take the energy you want to invest in a future spouse and pour it into those around you. "What can you do to promote world peace and create a happier world? Go home and love your family." (Mother Teresa) 

5. Take long walks. Pray and find comfort that even Lord is near, even in the loneliest times.


7. Go to a music concert or local music festival where you live. 

8. Travel or simply find the joy in exploring your city. I have written two posts on this subject (10 Tips for Exploring Your City and 4 More Tips for Exploring your City) to help inspire some ideas of how to do this! (Finding it hard to travel alone? Check out my post, The Single Journey and Travel for some encouragement!)

9. Go on a picnic.

10. Volunteer. Give to a project you are passionate about. 


12. Embrace the moments. 



15. Face a fear that you have.

16. Pray about how you can encourage your single friends in this season. 

17. Learn to love yourself, including your body even if you are struggling with feeling unbeautiful


19. Work on your finances. Create a budget. Set some financial goals.


21. Make a bucket list. 

22. Learn a new language, new instrument, new something.

23. Pick some flowers in a field. Remember that the God who created the beauty of flowers loves you so much more.

24. Know that you are leaving a legacy, even in this hard season.

25. Keep a journal and write about all that God is doing every single day.

7/16/16

"W" Altered Journal

Happy Saturday sweet friends! I hope that you are having a lovely weekend! I am so excited to share with y'all today a beautiful journal that is available in the shop! This gorgeous "W" journal is so pretty with its color combination and was a delight to create!
As I have mentioned before here on the blog, some of my favorite items to create in the shop are altered journals. You can find this section in the shop HERE
This specific journal has a soft cover that has a gorgeous pattern that matches the embellishments that have been used to alter the journal. For this journal I used a mix of embellishments, including some sweet vintage ribbon. 
I love the color combination for this 80 page journal! If you are interested in this journal you can find it by clicking HERE!If you are interested in a altered journal or a custom order feel free to check out my shop or email me for details! AND stay tuned because in the next couple of weeks I will be adding a TON of new goodies to the shop!!
Happy Saturday friends! I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend!