Caravan Sonnet: November 2018

11/30/18

Merry Christmas Junk Journal Video

Happy Friday friends! How was has your week been? Mine has been pretty good... it feels like it has just flown by! Today I am excited to share another video from my new YouTube channel that just recently went live a couple of weeks ago! Today I am excited to share a video of a new item that is now available in the shop (I shared about on the blog on Saturday- you can read about it HERE or see it in the shop HERE)!

This one just makes me smile... it is so fun for the beginning of this holiday season and I love the song that I chose to put with this video! I hope it brings a smile to your face this Friday morning! *smiles* You can find the video HERE (or watch right below) and the new channel by clicking HERE! Thanks for checking it out, commenting, and following along y'all! *smiles*
Happy Friday friends! I hope y'all have a wonderful day and start to the weekend!

11/28/18

New Etsy Shop Instagram Account

I am very saddened and a bit excited to share that I have a new IG account for my Etsy shop. My old account (@decembercaravanmarket) which I have had and operated since 2014 was has been deemed "inaccessible" due to suspicious login activity after I attempted to upload a new IGTV video for the account. After spending the last 24 hours in many many discussions with @instagram I was sadly told that I could not "prove" that I was the owner of the account, despite providing several pages of documentation, passwords, emails, phone number, blog references, this accounts notes and posts, Facebook  login, and TONS of more information and proof. It has been a frustrating 24 hours and hard because this account was formed when my shop was in its "baby days" and the community there is something that I truly treasure. You have truly supported me from the very beginning as my shop has grown and developed over these last five years. 

I made the difficult decision to move forward with a new account instead of spending additional precious energy and time continuing to fight what I was told would be a loosing battle- especially at this busy time of year.  As we all know- time for a small business owner is truly the biggest resource we have and that is definitely extremely disappointing in this situation. As a small business owner and a long time supporter of Instagram this has been discouraging and frustrating to have no way to even contact those who are a part of that community for years and share the change.  Sometimes it is hard to understand why these "little" things in the grand scheme of life happen... especially when so much work has gone into developing social media aspects of small businesses. This will mean that I have to take countless hours to re-link things on my blog and countless other social media sites and also deal with items that anyone who is a small business owner can understand. 

At the same time I have been so blessed in the midst of this situation: I appreciate the due diligence that Instagram does in keeping accounts safe and protected (even erring on the extreme caution). I am also beyond grateful for Hannah (the amazing creator of my shop logo) who has kindly designed new cards and logos at a quick speed at no extra cost to myself. The generosity of people is such a blessing. 

In the midst of the frustration I am choosing to believe that there is goodness and a new start in this situation. There are these situations in life where we feel as if things are "wasted" or "useless"...I have felt this often in several very personal situations these last few months and now with this issue with my business IG account. But...the truth is... nothing is wasted as we commit each step and venture to the Lord. One of my favorite authors shared the following saying after a year of work was stolen and lost: 

When our plans are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable)
//Elisabeth Elliot//

So, first, thank you to each of you that were part of that special community that formed when I was just starting my shop. I  appreciate you believing in me from the beginning! It means more to me than you know! Second, a HUGE thank you to Hannah from Premade Market on Etsy (you can find her shop HERE)for your kindness and generosity. It was TRULY a gift. Finally, I hope you will follow along with the new shop account HERE: @decembercaravanshop

7 Things You Need to do in Tennessee

Tennessee is one of the best states in the country to visit, and with a little something for everyone you should definitely make it a priority. While music lovers have always flocked to the state, there’s more to Tennessee than just Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley (although they’re both amazing too). If you're looking for somewhere new to visit, then it’s definitely worth having a closer look.

No matter what your interests are, no matter how long you;re planning to stay, here are the top seven things that you can do in Tennessee that might make you want to relocate there on a more permanent basis.

1. The Great Smoky Mountains
More people visit this national park than any other in America. Considering the incredible views, that’s not really a surprise. With hiking routes for beginners and experts, top of the list for places to visit in Tennessee has to be the Great Smoky Mountains.

2. Perfect for skiers
Ober Gatlinburg could be your dream destination if you like the slopes. As well as the stunning views there are also a wide variety of beautiful cabins to stay in, all located in and around the city of Gatlinburg. Use VacationRenter.com and pick somewhere close to the tramway.

3. Don’t miss out on Dollywood
No visit to Tennessee is going to be complete without a passing trip to Dollywood. It’s not just a house either, with Dollywood spanning 150 acres, host to 15 shows, and over 40 rides as well. Remember to take your swimming costume, because there’s a water park too!

4. The Smithsonian of Country Music
Tennessee is obviously famous for its musical history, which is why you should definitely check out the Country Music Hall of Fame. The exhibitions change on a regular basis so always check the schedule before you buy your tickets. Anyone with an interest in the history and traditions of country music is not going to want to miss this.

5. Going Greek
It might seem strange to find a slice of Ancient Greece in the middle of America, but that’s Tennessee! The full-scale replica of the Parthenon was built way back in 1897, and it’s now used as an art gallery. There is a great permanent collection of 63 pieces of art, and absolutely worth checking out.

6. The Presley Residence
Obviously, you’re going to have visit Graceland if you’re even close to Tennessee. Elvis is one of the most recognized icons in the world, and there’s a lot to fascinate when it comes to a tour of his former home.

7. Going Green
It’s not all about music and mountains. Cheekwood Botanical Gardens is a great place to spend a few hours, and even if the 11 gardens and the woodland trail aren’t enough to pique your interest, then the fact that there’s also an art gallery attached might. The gardens themselves are filled with contemporary sculptures, making this the ideal spot for a relaxing afternoon. 

With its blend of history, cultural importance, and modern feel, Tennessee is the perfect place to visit any time of the year.

*contributed post*

11/27/18

When Light Dawns Special Sale for Christmas Season

Happy Tuesday friends! Today I am so excited to share that When Light Dawns (the Advent and Christmas Devotional for Lyme patients) is on a special sale rate of $5.99 for the paperback version (HERE) and $.99 for the Kindle Version (HERE!) this Christmas Season! One of the things that I wanted to do this month was to make the book the cheapest possible so that anyone could have access to it. 

As this Christmas season approaches, I am well aware that it can be a very difficult and painful season to face while fighting a serious illness like Lyme Disease. "When Light Dawns" is the first and only Lyme patient specific book for the Advent and Christmas season. The book features daily reflections that will inspire and give hope to Lyme Warriors. Containing a daily reflection & song for each day of the Christmas holiday (from the last week of November through the first week of January), "When Light Dawns" can be used as a simple encouragement to the weary heart or as a guided devotional study. However it is used, "When Light Dawns" will provide encouragement and give new meaning to the popular phrase, "holiday preparations" this season.

If you know a local library, doctors office, or religious community center that would be interested in me donating a copy of this Christmas devotional to them- would you please send me an email or leave a comment? This book is in several libraries around the world, but I would love to get it into more. 

I have one request: if you have read When Light Dawns- would you consider leaving a review for others to know more about this book? It doesn't have to be long, but ANY reviews that help potential future readers learn more about this book would be such an incredible blessing! Reviews are truly a huge thing for authors and your time is truly appreciated! Thank you! (You can leave a review HERE!)

If are not a Lyme patient, but know a Lymie this would be a great gift to give them! If you don't know a Lymie and would still like to help I have a list of Lyme patients who want to purchase this book but due to treatment costs can't afford to do so. If you would like to bless them anonymously please contact me or leave a comment and I will message instructions!! Thank you for your support of not only my books but of Lyme patients around the world!

Again you can find the paperback version of When Light Dawns (HERE) and the Kindle Version (HERE!)

Thank you again friends! I hope that you have a lovely Tuesday!

11/26/18

Amazing Cyber Monday Sales on Some of My Favorite Travel Items

Happy Monday friends! Today I am so excited to share with y'all some of my favorite sales that are happening for Cyber Monday on Travel items that I love! Y'all know how much I write about travel here on the blog and mention specific items from time to time so today I am so excited to see that many of these items are on sale! Here is a list of some of the best in no particular order: 
1. Aloe (Save 15%= Less than $7!)
I have talked about this specific organic aloe several times on the blog and it is something that I use nearly everyday, but especially when traveling to warmer climates. Even with sunscreen, the warm climate of the Caribbean can make it easy to get sunburned. Consider taking along some soothing aloe vera with you for your skin. One of my favorites that I use throughout the year is the Aubrey Organics Pure Aloe Vera. It is incredible light and at only 4 oz. it is easy to throw into your suitcase without adding a ton of extra weight. I use this often on my skin, even when I don't have a burn after being out in the sun and it is extremely soothing. It is currently on sale and less than $7! You can find it HERE!
2. SD Card  (Under $20!)
As a travel writer/photographer/blogger I take a TON of pictures and need back up for my back ups of SD cards. This one has become a favorite and it is currently reduced for under $20! 
3. Ear Plugs (Under $9- saving an additional 5%!)
I have talked several times about earplugs and these are ones that I have used for numerous trips! They are currently on sale for an additional 5% off so they are $8.07 for 50 pair! You can find them HERE!
4. Dutch Blitz Cards (Less than $10!)
If you know me at all than you know that I love playing games, especially card games (I even have a mini deck of cards in my purse! Hahaha!). Dutch Blitz in particular has a special place in my heart (I even talked about it in my book, December Caravan! *smiles*) and it is one of my favorites. I love carrying this game because no matter the vacation there are periods of waiting or "down time" and having a deck of cards for when you are traveling can be a fun way to connect with others and pass the time. While a regular deck of cards is wonderful, consider throwing in a card game like "Dutch Blitz" which is fun and a little unique! These cards are on sale for Cyber Monday and for less than $10 ... believe me you will thank me! It is so fun! (You can purchase Dutch Blitz cards on Amazon HERE!) 
5. Clothes Steamer (Save 5%= Less than $20)
This is a suggestion that I learned from a fellow cruise mate on my last cruise after I waited for hours for laundry services to come and pick up some clothing that I needed ironed. They kept saying that they would be there "in a minute" and low and behold, almost 2 hours later they still had not come and we were late for a special performance. The simple and easy solution to this would have been a clothes steamer that would help take out the wrinkles (just like a regular iron, which a lot of cruise lines do not allow you to bring on board). I have found THIS ONE to be great and pretty inexpensive!

Y'all may remember that when I shared about what to pack for an Alaskan Road Trip I raved about this carry on (in champagne color) a ton! I just used it again on my trip to Georgia and am still in love with it so I was so excited to see that the Chocolate color version (you can find it HERE) is MAJORLY on sale. It is reduced already and then at checkout you can receive an additional $48 off which brings the total to under $200 (and its free shipping if you have Amazon Prime!) which is amazing. 

Now I know the price is still so high... but I have had many carry-on suitcases over the years but can't recommend this one, by Delsey, enough. I had seen several bloggers that I follow recommend this luggage and was a bit shell-shocked at the price. Over the past years of traveling I tried several (a total of 8!) other cheaper carry-on luggage options and was disappointed with each of them for various reasons. Finally, I found this carry-on on an incredible sale price on Amazon and purchased it. Friends, save your money on the cheaper options and purchase this carry-on now that it is on sale. It is worth every. single. penny. This is a carry-on that I plan to have for years and I have been so impressed with the quality of it, the durability, and the way it cleans up so easily. It holds tons of items and you will be amazed at all you are able to pack in it. (Again, I traveled for 10 days and everything I am recommending traveled with me!) Head on over and find it HERE!
6. Bose Headphones (A savings of $189= 63% off!)
I have heard from other travel writers that these headphones are amazing. I don't personally have a pair due to cost, but if you have been looking at them and planning to purchase them, the deal is incredible with a savings of $189! You can find them HERE
Okay if you know me at all than you know that I have a little love affair with colored pens. Hahaha! I mean I don't think that this is a huge surprise if you have been around me for about 5 minutes. Hahaha. So imagine my delight at seeing that ALL different kinds of packages of papermate pens are on sale today. Some of you are wondering why this is included in my favorite travel items... but hello- lots of writing with happy colored pens is necessary. *smiles* Oh my goodness I just noticed that the colored sharpie pens are also on sale. Hahaha!  You can find the entire section HERE!
8. Ski Mask (Less than $10!)
Last year, as some of y'all know, I fell in love with skiing and my face was... cold. Hahaha! This year I knew that I needed to purchase a ski mask so I was so happy to see that this one was less than $10! You can find it HERE!
9. Women's Ski Jacket (White- available in multiple colors!)
I have been looking and searching for a white ski jacket (thank you Kate Middleton for the inspiration - hahaha!) for the past year. I found several that I loved and knew that I couldn't afford them. I was so excited to see that the Wantdo Women's Warm Parka Mountain Ski Fleece Jacket was part of the Cyber Monday sale today! It is on HUGE sale and less than $52! If you are not into white it comes in several different colors- you can find it HERE!

I hope that y'all find these helpful! Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope that you have a wonderful Monday! 

Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Christmas Tree Cove Junk Journal

Happy Monday friends! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend! Today I am so excited to share with y'all the final Christmas Junk Journal that is available in the shop for this season! (Don't forget also that there is a special sale going on in my Etsy shop that ends today!)
This sweet Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Christmas Tree Cove Junk Journal is now available for purchase! (You can find it HERE!
These beautiful and unique journals are the perfect way to grab onto ordinary moments or days and remember special times in life, especially during this holiday season! And this specific junk journal, truly became one of my favorites as it came together. I fell in love with these pink and turquoise colors of this season which also held a "vintage" flare to them. 
ThiBunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Christmas Tree Cove Junk Journal is a vintage Christmas Lovers dream. With approximately 200+ pages/tags of quality and beautiful scrapbook paper, adorable vintage and modern embellishments and tags, 20+original book pages, cards, ribbon (both vintage and unique modern) a special vintage postcard and pretty surprises for the owner, this Junk Journal will create a treasured keepsake for a lifetime and can be used throughout the holiday season and year.
You can easily add in pictures and quick notes so that you can remember the special days of the holidays forever. 
This beautiful Junk Journal would create a treasured keepsake for a lifetime and can be used throughout the holiday season (for special holiday parties or a special occasion) or as a December Daily album for those who may be participating in that! Oh and did I mention the size?!? At approximately 5x7 it is the perfect fun medium size junk journal
No matter how you would use this junk journal it would be precious. *smiles* If you are interested in this Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Christmas Tree Cove Junk Journal can find it HERE
If you are interested in looking at other Christmas items in the shop you can find them HERE! You can find one of me talking about the junk journal on the shops instagram page by clicking HERE! A video of this junk journal will soon be available on my new Youtube page which you can find HERE!
Happy Monday friends! I hope you have a wonderful start to this new week!

11/24/18

The Little Drummer Boy Vintage Christmas Junk Journal

Happy Saturday friends! I hope that you are having a wonderful weekend so far! Today I am so excited to share with y'all the final two Christmas Junk Journals that will be going into the shop for this season! I will be sharing one now and then the final one later tonight! (Don't forget also that there is a special sale going on in my Etsy shop today!)
This sweet The Little Drummer Boy Vintage Christmas Junk Journal is now available for purchase! (You can find it HERE!
These beautiful and unique journals are the perfect way to grab onto ordinary moments or days and remember special times in life, especially during this holiday season! And this specific junk journal, truly became one of my favorites as it came together.
I fell in love with these pink and turquoise colors of this season which also held a "vintage" flare to them. 
ThiLittle Drummer Boy Vintage Christmas Junk Journal is a pink and turquoise Christmas Lovers dream. With approximately 100 pages/tags that include quality and beautiful scrapbook paper, adorable vintage and modern embellishments and ephemera and tags, cards, ribbon (both vintage and unique modern) and pretty surprises for the owner to receive. This Junk Journal will create a treasured keepsake for a lifetime and can be used throughout the holiday season and years to come.
You can easily add in pictures and quick notes so that you can remember the special days forever. 
This beautiful Junk Journal would create a treasured keepsake for a lifetime and can be used throughout the holiday season (for special holiday parties or a special occasion) or as a December Daily album for those who may be participating in that!
Oh and did I mention the size?!? At approximately 8x8 it is the perfect fun medium size junk journal
No matter how you would use this junk journal it would be precious. *smiles* If you are interested in this Little Drummer Boy Vintage Junk Journal can find it HERE
If you are interested in looking at other Christmas items in the shop you can find them HERE! You can find one of me talking about the junk journal on the shops instagram page by clicking HERE! A video of this junk journal will soon be available on my new Youtube page which you can find HERE!
Happy Saturday friends! See you back later tonight with the final Christmas Junk Journal for this year! I hope that you have a wonderful day!