Caravan Sonnet

9/20/17

From Hope Valley Devotionals (Week 31): The Hope of Change

Life is strange isn't it- many times we often fear and fight against change in our lives and yet there are other times, especially when we are stuck in a situation that feels that there is no end or way out we long for change to come in. In Season 3, Episode 1 of When Calls the Heart (the New Years Wish Movie Premier), there is a conversation that takes place between Elizabeth and one of her students, Laura highlighting this concept. 

Laura and her dad had suffered immeasurable loss as they had suffered the devastating loss of her precious mama. Laura in this scene was expressing not only her sadness, but the fact that her dad believed that nothing would ever be different. Nothing would ever change in their sadness and grief. Elizabeth's simple and yet profound response, "it can if you want it to", is a catalyst for the beautiful wisdom that there is always a hope for change. 

So many times in life it seems that our circumstances through difficult times and season will never change. We look at the road before us and instead of seeing a path with light at the end of the tunnel, we only see the continued road of the same thing occurring day after day. For those of you walking through a season like this- feeling that there is no hope that anything will change, my heart breaks for you and goes out to you. 


I have struggled with this at different painful seasons in my life, but one of the times I struggled the most was in the Fall of 2013. At that time I had been home dealing with my health situations for about a year and to be frank wasn't doing much better than when I had arrived home. I was able to walk a bit more and there was no feeding tube, but my health was in such a precarious state that I spent days upon days in bed and struggled to walk down our hallway to go the living room. When I had decided to take some time off from teaching and move home to be with my parents for help and support I never imagined that I would be bed bound for a couple of years. I longed to live a normal life. I longed to have a job. I missed teaching more than I could have expressed. I missed my friends. I missed being healthy. I missed everything and as the days and weeks turned into months and years I started to lose hope that anything could ever change. 

It was one of the most painful and loneliest seasons of life. As I look back on it now I still have tears for that season. It was messy. It was painful. It was difficult...and I felt no hope that anything could ever change. I watched the episode and felt my heart break for all who are struggling like Laura's father. I have been there and I know how hard it is to put one foot in front of the other.. to feel that you can't imagine things changing... and sometimes where words can't even express what you are feeling because the emotions are so deep.

In these times and days that stretch before you with no change my heart hopes that you can hear the gentle encouragement of Elizabeth from this episode. Change can happen and there is always the hope of change. Years ago I found this song and it was on repeat... played hundreds of times during that very desperate season...and is still played every single morning. I hope that it will be encouraging to you:
You are not forgotten dear friend. 
Hold on to the knowledge that change can come. 
Change will come. 

One of my favorite people (and author) who has an incredible influence on my life is Robin Jones Gunn. Many #hearies know her from the sweet movie, Engaging Father Christmas that premiered last year on the Hallmark Channel. Robin wrote a beautiful book called, Victim of Grace, which is highlighted, underlined, and tear stained. I have read it numerous times and can't recommend it enough if you are walking through a difficult season. One day she shared on social media the following quote that is now written in my journal and up on my wall where I see it everyday... I pray it will encourage you today...

"Have you ever counted how many of your dreams were dropped and shattered into pieces? It's not a good exercise for your spirit on most days. On some days, like today, you might wake up and discover that the broken pieces of your dreams have become something complex and beautiful. Their irregular edges had to be reshaped through the breaking in order for them to fit perfectly with other pieces in your life. You are a stained glass window in the making. And so am I. (The) mysterious handiwork of God is so beautiful and complex that when His light shines through the fragments of my many shattered wishes, I see Him. I see His glory. I am a stained glass window. And so are you. May you see the beauty today that God is crafting from your shattered dreams."

Today dear friends, let's live fully in the beautiful hope of change, believing that out of the shattered dreams change is coming. God is at work. And perhaps if you aren't going through a rough time... or if you have previously walked through a season of discouragement can I encourage you today to look around... say a kind word.. love big on those who are struggling... give a call... send a text... send a card... and just be there and "hold space" (as my dear friend Blythe shares about)

"And I will restore to you the years that were stolen..."
-Joel 2:25-


A huge thank you to so many hearties who sent me such sweet messages of support and encouragement after my instagram post on Monday. In the midst of difficult days and times you are a truly blessing #hearties! Thank you so much for your sweet prayers and support for my family.

Looking for past From Hope Valley Devotionals? You can click HERE to find a complete listing of all of the devotionals! 

I receive several emails a week asking where you can watch older episodes of "When Calls the Heart". If you have a Netflix account you can find seasons 1-3 there or you can purchase them on Amazon. You can purchase and watch all of the seasons and episodes by clicking on the links below:

*Please note that the quotes used in these weekly devotionals are the sole intellectual property of Hallmark Channel, WCTH, & Crown Media, LLC. These on-line posts are in no way supported, endorsed or affiliated with WCTH, Hallmark Channel, or Crown Media. They are simply encouragement inspired by Janette Oke and this precious show.*

9/19/17

4 Must Pack Clothes Items for a Fall Road Trip to New England and Canada

It is so hard to believe that in less than two weeks I am going to be leaving on a fun little adventure with my dear friend Ali. As I have mentioned before we are going to be meeting up in Boston and then will be taking a road trip up through New England to Prince Edward Island. Our seven day adventure is going to be filled with so many beautiful places to see, inspiration, all things Anne (*smiles*) and tons of laughter and fun. I can't wait to share with y'all on Instagram and on the blog all about our itinerary, our stops, and all of things we are going to see and do! This trip has been in the works for almost a year and so to see it quickly approaching is such an exciting time! 

As I have been thinking more and more about the trip and starting to plan things I have been making a list of all of the clothes that I want to take on the trip. Just like planning for a cruise to the New England and Canada area, this trip will include a ton of different activities and events and so it has been fun to think through the different items to take! So here are 4 must pack clothes items that I am including on this Fall Road Trip to New England and Canada:

 
1. Layers- Essential Tanks
With weather that is unpredictable during this time of the year (some days can be in the low 30s to the high 80s!!) it is important to pack clothes that you can "layer". To start off layering I love using the Essential Tank from Loft. And y'all- the essential tanks are usually $14.50 but are currently on sale for $5! They come in a variety of different colors so you can stock up for different outfits. You can find them HERE.  And for my soon to be mama friends you can find the Maternity Essential Tanks HERE
2. Boots, Booties, Shoes, Sandals
I shared last week in my post, Two of My Favorite Things to Wear to Transition Your My Closet from Summer to Fall Clothing that one of my favorite things is to wear boots and booties in the fall so when road tripping throughout the New England and Fall areas, one of the first things that I am doing is taking both of these with me. 
This adorableTory Burch Adeline Boot is available at Nordstrom and is currently on sale for 40% off. The boot also comes in black and you can find them both HERE.
Can I be honest for a moment? I wasn't sure at first that I liked the "bootie" triend. I know. I know. I have always loved boots so much that I wasn't sure if I totally embraced the "bootie" idea. When I would try some on I just felt like they didn't look right for me. In saying this I finally found a pair that I loved and now I really love the look. So if you are like me and just questioning if "booties" are for you, my encouragement is to keep looking for a pair that feels comfortable and cute on your feet and calves. Try different widths and styles to find the ones that work best for you! 

One suggestion is these Block Heel Booties from Nordstrom are also really cute. They come in a ton of different colors and you can find them HERE. Also if you are looking for a cute peep-toe bootieTHIS ONE from TOMS is really cute and comes in a variety of different colors! 

Just like with layering your clothes though you may want to throw in a pair of sandals. Sometimes the weather in the day time is so warm (like summer) and then gets cooler as the day goes on. If you are looking for some cute sandals that look like early fall I would definitely suggest looking at ASOS! They have really cute sandals that are perfect for the fall time. 
3. Camel and Cognac Colors
I am not sure what it is about fall but I love the camel and cognac tones, don't y'all? Going on a trip throughout New England and Canada these tones are the perfect colors to build different outfits from interchanging key pieces like this beautiful Eartha Turtleneck Sweater from Joules. I ordered this back during the Labor Day sale that Joules was having and can't wait to wear it on our trip. It is perfect for layering or wearing over a pair of leggings with boots. I love it! It was over a hundred dollars, but now is on sale for less than $50 in the Joules sale and clearance section which you can find HERE
Another easy way to add some of the camel/cognac tones into your road trip throughout New England and Canada is through your purse. This Tory Burch Mcgraw Leather Tote is simply gorgeous, but if you are like me you can't imagine any where close to $500 on a purse. Honestly, just even writing out the number $500 has me catch my breath! *smiles* Y'all know how much I love thrifting and that is where I find a majority of my purses, but if you are looking for a camel/cognac tone colored purse without spending so much money here are a couple of additional options...
This Marc B Quilted Tote Bag with Chain Detail is available from ASOS and is priced at $103. It has a quilited design with the gold chain detailing as you can see in the picture above. You can find it HERE

Another option from Marc B is this Marc B Structured Tote Bag with Bamboo Handle. It also can be found on ASOS and retails for $103.00 also. You can find it HERE

A cute bag from ASOS (and is now on sale for under $30!) is this adorable Suede Shopper Bag With Weave Corners. It has a cute tassel detail which is adorable and the size is a great size to carry with you for a fall road trip. You can find it HERE

Finally, I really like this spin on the camel/cognac colored scheme with this cute Yoki Contrast Panel Tote Bag from ASOS. The blue tone at the bottom gives an intresting detail to the bag that makes it a bit unique which I really like. This Yoki Contrast Panel Tote Bag was originally $114 but now is on sale at ASOS for under $50. You can find it HERE

4. Scarves
Lets be honest. If you have been around the blog then you know that I love scarves and where them in all different weather environments, and for a fall road trip throughout New England and Canada will include lots of scarves. *smiles* In addition to sharing about boots and booties in my post, Two of My Favorite Things to Wear to Transition Your My Closet from Summer to Fall Clothing, I also shared about some scarves that I am loving. 

This ASOS Oversized Square Scarf In White Based Plaid (seen in the picture above) was something I was SO excited to find this year. I have been searching for a scarf like this for a couple of years and I love that it is the perfect blanket scarf for not only fall but will be great throughout the winter months also. Some of my favorite pins on Pinterest with this type of scarf are HEREHERE, and HERE. This scarf from ASOS is less than $30 and can be found HERE

Another new favorite scarf from ASOS was this ASOS Oversized Square Scarf In Brown Based Check With Yellow Highlight. I love the "moody and dark" fall colors and this color combination is the perfect fall combination. I love the twist on the scarf that it includes the yellow highlight - something that is a fun addition to the scarf! This scarf is also under $30 and can be found HERE


Finally, this Oversized Square Tweed Scarf from ASOS is a cute favoroite that screams lovely to my little British loving heart. It was hard to find a tweed scarf look for the fall that I loved on Pinterest, but this one HERE is cute! I will be on the hunt for more outfit inspirations with this scarf! Like the two above, this scarf is also under $30 and can be found HERE

Scarves are also a perfect accessory for a road trip as they are lightweight and don't take up a ton of room but can bring a pop of color to an outfit, change up an outfit (by simply wearing a different scarf), and are the perfect way to feel cozy and cuddley (is this a word?) in the fall.

What about y'all? Any must pack items that you recommend for a road trip to New England and Canada? (If you are going on a Fall New England and Canada Cruise you can find packing tips HERE! Enjoy- I loved my cruise to New England and Canada back in 2015!)

Looking for more road trip tips? Check out the following posts: 

10 Tips and Tricks for Long Road Trips

9/16/17

a little love affair with fall mini-journals

Ever since I was a little girl I have had a little love affair with mini-journals. One of the things that I love about mini-journals it that they can make the perfect companion to carry with you or can be the perfect little gift to let someone know you are thinking about them. 
I have also found that mini albums can be a sweet present to someone going through a difficult time. One of my favorite mini-journals that I ever created was a "mini teapot album" for a friend who was going through a particularly difficult time a couple of summers ago.
In addition to giving as a gift, I also love that mini-journals can be the perfect little addition to home decor for different seasons throughout the year.
With fall and autumn quickly approaching I wanted to add some fall specific mini-journals into the shop and love the final products! If you are looking for a cute little fall notebook, a fun little present during this time of the year, or want to just add a little display of fall to your home then these mini-albums are the perfect addition. Each mini-album is also only $6 so it is the perfect little gift for this time of year.
One of my favorite additions is this adorable "Oh Happy Day" mini journal which can be found HERE. This adorable mini journal also comes in a kraft colored version which you can find HERE. These mini-journals have a "hard" cover and are approximately 2 x 3 inches. They are approximately 30 lined pages inside these adorable journals that are filled with sweet fall and autumn embellishments including one of a kind ribbon, scrapbook paper, and washi tape.
I have always thought gold tones are reminiscent of fall days don't y'all think so? Because of this I wanted to add in a few fall mini-journals that included these gold tones. This striped gold fall mini journal is so cute with its colors and I love the final product. You can find this album HERE.
One of my other favorites that you can see above is the gold dot mini journal. I love the colors included and the light brown ribbons that remind me of hay and hay rides. 
Probably my favorite though of the gold collection mini-journal is this adorable gold leaf fall mini journal
The color combination and the intricate leaf design on the front makes for a beautiful finished product.
And I love the coordinating leaf ribbons that are included in the journal that match the intricate gold leaf design. You can find this journal HERE.
While orange tones are the typical fall colors I also decided to add in some fall journals with purple tones. I shared about this It's Fall Ya'll journal in a post a couple of weeks ago (you can read about it HERE) or you can find it in the shop HERE
There is also a light brown colored version which can be found HERE. If you are looking for a twist on the typical fall colors these min-journals would be the perfect solution. 
Those are just a few of the fall mini journals that are now available in the shop! There are many others, including this "hello" mini-journal (which can be found HERE) so head on over to the shop by clicking HERE
Also, as I mentioned last week the shop will be closed for three weeks, starting on Wednesday, September 20th and will re-open on Wednesday, October 11th. Don't delay in stocking up on any items that you will want in the next few days before the shop will take the short break! If you have any questions please feel free to email me or contact me through the shop!

Happy Saturday friends! I hope that you have a wonderful day with friends and family!!

9/13/17

Two of My Favorite Things to Wear to Transition My Closet from Summer to Fall Clothing

I'm so excited today y'all to link up with Shay and Erika's link up "workin' it wednesdays". Each month there is a different topic and today, we're blogging about transitional pieces for summer to fall clothing. 

I was so excited to see this topic because if we are connected on Pinterest (and if we aren't drop me a comment with your link- I would love to connect with you!) then you know that I have different boards for all different seasons and this includes fashion and style boards for different seasons and occasions. Right now my Style Love: Fall and Winter board is getting a ton of love (like the picture I found on the internet and pinned above) because I just keep seeing so many adorable fall outfits that I want to try this autumn! 


Fall in the New England area is... wonderful. *happy sigh* It's incredibly beautiful, the air is crisp, the beauty of change is all around, and everything seems a bit more lovely. I dream of apple picking, fall bonfires, hayrides, stargazing, and cute and cozy clothing. 
Fall in New England seems quitisential in every single way and one of the things I love about fall fashion is that you can use some summer pieces into the fall as layers. So today I am sharing two of my favorite things to wear to transition my closet from summer to fall. 

(1) Scarves

If you have been around this blog or know me at all I am pretty sure that you could have guessed that scarves- especially beautiful and pretty blanket scarves would make the list! *smiles* I love that scarves can easily help transition summer clothing to fall in one easy step. I wear a ton of different scarves, but in the fall I pretty much live in the blanket scarfs above (all from ASOS or Joules) and also have fallen in love with a couple of other new ones: 

This ASOS Oversized Square Scarf In White Based Plaid was something I was SO excited to find this year. I have been searching for a scarf like this for a couple of years and I love that it is the perfect blanket scarf for not only fall but will be great throughout the winter months also. Some of my favorite pins on Pinterest with this type of scarf are HERE, HERE, and HERE. This scarf from ASOS is less than $30 and can be found HERE

Another new favorite scarf from ASOS was this ASOS Oversized Square Scarf In Brown Based Check With Yellow Highlight. I love the "moody and dark" fall colors and this color combination is the perfect fall combination. I love the twist on the scarf that it includes the yellow highlight - something that is a fun addition to the scarf! This scarf is also under $30 and can be found HERE

Finally, this Oversized Square Tweed Scarf from ASOS is a cute favoroite that screams lovely to my little British loving heart. It was hard to find a tweed scarf look for the fall that I loved on Pinterest, but this one HERE is cute! I will be on the hunt for more outfit inspirations with this scarf! Like the two above, this scarf is also under $30 and can be found HERE

(2)Boots and Booties
One of my favorite things though in the fall to do is wear adorable booties and boots like this picture above. I love the way that a great pair of boots can easily change your entire look from summer to fall. I love a great pair of brown boots that can go with so many different outfits. Here are a couple of my favorites:
This adorableTory Burch Adeline Boot is available at Nordstrom and is currently on sale for 40% off. The boot also comes in black and you can find them both HERE.
These Block Heel Booties from Nordstrom are also really cute. They come in a ton of different colors and you can find them HERE. Also if you are looking for a cute peep-toe bootie, THIS ONE from TOMS is really cute and comes in a variety of different colors! 

So these are just two of the pieces that I use to help transition my summer clothing to fall clothing! On Friday I will be sharing more pieces that I like to use to transition from summer to fall and I'd love to know your thoughts!!  Comment below (or link up!) and share this with us!  

And to see the topics for the next months:
Happy Wednesday friends!

From Hope Valley Devotionals (Week 30): The Power of Second Chances

One of the more "realistic" parts of When Calls the Heart Season 2 was watching the relationship between Jack and Elizabeth navigate and weather the "after honeymoon phase" of their relationship. As viewers it was a bit painful to see them walk through this different season in their lives, grow and learn more about each other, and also navigate some of the difficult realities of moving forward as a couple. At the end of the season though it was a precious moment to see them realize that in walking through all of these things they realized that the struggles had made them stronger as a couple and they wanted to move forward together. 

There is a scene that takes place rather briefly in the mine when Elizabeth states, "it really feels like we've been given a second chance today". Jack's response is cute, flirty and adorable, but I have been thinking more and more recently about Elizabeth's comment and the beautiful truth that comes with learning what she has shared... the power of second chances to bring change to our lives.

So many times in life there are difficult things to navigate, circumstances that seem that they will overwhelm us, misunderstandings in relationships that will never get resolved, terrible tragedies that seem to have no end, and pain that seems like it will never let up. 

But then... life it in all of its beautiful messiness opens a door to a different future than we expected. The circumstance that seemed to overwhelm us lessens. The misunderstanding that seems to create a wide chasm sees a bridge built. Terrible tragedies gently remind us of what is most important in life- family, loved ones, and people. And the pain that we thought would never let up starts to slowly heal. 

In these beautiful moments of grace meeting us we feel that we have been given a second chance. A second chance to do things differently. 
To approach the world a little differently. 
To be more compassionate. 
To find contentment in where we are at. 
To take the time to love those around us more intentionally
To let go of what is truly not important. 
To remember the grace. 
To extend the grace to others. 
To embrace the joy of the moment. 
To offer forgiveness quickly. 
To love more deeply. 
To love more sacrificially. 
To be more vulnerable. 
To live in hope more fully
To speak more life giving and redeeming words to those that we encounter.

And perhaps this week ...after all of the tragedies that America has endured, that America has remembered from sixteen years ago... and the unimaginable difficulties that people around the world are enduring... there is no better time then to live in the beautiful gift of second chances. 

Today dear friends, let's live fully in the beautiful gift of second chances. Let's live as if each moment of our lives is the treasured gift that it is. We don't know what the future may bring, but we know that there is a beautiful hope and promise that is found in our history. And in knowing that and in living in the beauty of second chances we can live confidently that this has the power to change everything. 

"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are never every morning; great is your faithfulness."
-Lamentations 3:21-23-

A huge thank you to all of y'all for your incredibly sweet notes, messages, and comments about these From Hope Valley Devotionals. It has been a joy to connect with you and walk with you these last 30 weeks. It is hard to believe that next week will start the Season 3 portion of the From Hope Valley Devotionals. I have received numerous emails and messages asking that I continue to write for more seasons past that. I am so humbled and honored. At this time I will be concluding at the end of the Season 3 devotionals (there are 15 of them which will conclude in December) and I so appreciate your sweet support of this entire series and project. You are a truly blessing #hearties! 

Looking for past From Hope Valley Devotionals? You can click HERE to find a complete listing of all of the devotionals! 

I receive several emails a week asking where you can watch older episodes of "When Calls the Heart". If you have a Netflix account you can find seasons 1-3 there or you can purchase them on Amazon. You can purchase and watch all of the seasons and episodes by clicking on the links below:

*Please note that the quotes used in these weekly devotionals are the sole intellectual property of Hallmark Channel, WCTH, & Crown Media, LLC. These on-line posts are in no way supported, endorsed or affiliated with WCTH, Hallmark Channel, or Crown Media. They are simply encouragement inspired by Janette Oke and this precious show.*