Bridal Bouquet Idea: Add Sparkle with Gemstones

Mother of the Bride, when it’s time for your daughter to select the flowers for her bridal bouquet, maybe she’d like to add some sparkle too—with jewelry! Never fear, though. I’m not referring to genuine gemstones. Imitations will work quite nicely.

Bouquet jewelry, like the rhinestones or clear crystals in the red rose bouquet above, provide not only sparkle but also contrasting color, much like baby’s breath or another white accent flower. And bouquet jewelry will do those things less expensively. That’s right, you’ll save money!

Possibilities abound where bouquet jewelry is concerned. Bouquet jewelry can also be added to the stem wrap as shown on the ribbon in the photo below. Bigger items like brooches can be used as well on the wraps or in the bouquets themselves. One dazzling rhinestone butterfly or brooch can transform a bouquet from pretty to gorgeous in seconds. And a variety of imitation gemstones and pearls lay at the disposal of your floral arranger.

How about it, MOB? Try suggesting bouquet jewelry to your daughter. After all, what girl doesn’t love jewelry?

*Check out Afloral.com for ideas and prices. And if you’re interested in another way to save on the bouquets, you might also like to read Savings Tip for Bridal and Bridesmaids Bouquets

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early August. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Photos by Elece Hollis.

Lift Up Your Eyes: Guest Post by Gail Goolsby

Gazing out of the window on my first airplane trip to Afghanistan in 2004, I’d thought the scenery depressing. The decades of war, the desperate need for heating fuel, the years of drought, and the desert climate all contributed to the missing trees and grass. It is all so drab, so lifeless. Where is the green in all this khaki? Yuck.

The dusty, colorless environment fit my overall mood those first few months after my arrival in 2005 to serve as the principal of the soon-to-open International School of Kabul (ISK). I missed my young adult, semi-launched children back in the States and all my friends and my comfortable Missouri home, complete with gardens, paved streets and sidewalks.

When the rain came, the billowing dust turned to sticky mud. The mess was worse than the dust, but the rains brought relief through cleaner air. I could actually see vibrant color on trees and plants when the showers removed the dusty camouflage. But only briefly, as the high desert sun dried the ground quickly and the dust always returned.

Ah, but out of the dust rose…the mountains.

Like Denver, Kabul has several mountain ranges encircling it. They aren’t tree-covered like the Appalachians or Ozarks, or mighty granite peaks like the Rockies, but they are majestic in their own way. Walking down the dusty ISK street, I would lift my eyes to see the sunny blue skies outlining the mountains on every side and feel momentarily pleased with my surroundings. Sunrise and sunset photos over the hills were popular postings by staff on social media and undeniably breathtaking. Many fit foreigners loved to hike the stark inclines of Kabul’s mountains.

Ugliness at Every Corner

The Kabul chaos bothered me far more than bombs and guns, which were real threats, but not my daily challenge. Living in an overcrowded, unorganized city was draining to a lifelong suburban dweller like me.

Contrast too few resources (water, heat, power, internet, roadways, housing and work for returning refugees) with too many taxis, bicycles, pedestrians, beggars, flocks of goats and sheep (with their droppings), and horse-drawn carts all vying for the same travel space. Traffic was crazy with few yellow lines or stoplights. Drivers went where they liked, even in the opposite lane, confronting the coming stream of vehicles until somebody gave way.

Add to that the disregard/disrespect for women which hit me personally and professionally as I dealt more with men than women (who had limited English) in maddening, sometimes scary moments. Groups of Afghan men appeared throughout the city and seemed to stare holes in foreign women in eerie, disconcerting ways.

One October morning that first year in Kabul, I heard my husband call to me as I got ready for work. “Gail, come see this.”

I stepped outside, noticed the white powder on our marble patio courtyard, and then looked up.

Wow. My mouth fell open.

God Shows Up

When I saw that first autumn snowfall on the many peaks surrounding Kabul, I was enraptured. The transformation from a dusty, bland city was powerful. The sparkling white frosting on the brown mountain tops made a picturesque contrast. As a December birthday girl, I have always loved snow and yearly hoped it would appear as a special gift on my day. Now, it served to lift my spirits even higher, to remind me again, that God was present and able to enter any bleakness in wonderfully personal ways.

Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV) says: I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

When I purposely opened my eyes and looked carefully all around me, I could find delight, wonder, love, purpose and beauty in a seemingly desolate, vacant place.

What is hindering you from recognizing beauty and hope in your life right now?

*This article contains excerpts from my award-winning book Unveiled Truth: Lessons I Learned Leading the International School of Kabul. You can purchase a signed copy at: gailgoolsby.com/buy-book/ or online: books2read.com/gailgoolsby

 

 

Gail Goolsby holds master’s degrees in Professional Counseling and Educational Leadership. She has over 25 years educational experience as teacher, school counselor, and principal, including the K-12 American school in Afghanistan. Her award-winning book Unveiled Truth: Lessons I Learned Leading the International School of Kabul details the experience with challenging applications for all readers. As a counselor and ICF certified life coach, Gail believes there is support and encouragement in God’s Word to help us all learn to live well.

Gail and her pastor husband have been married 41 years and have three grown children, two sons-in-law, and four spunky granddaughters. They live where the wind blows over the prairie in south central Kansas and there really is no place like home.

Find her on her website: gailgoolsby.com  and social media: facebook.com/  Twitter

*Photo by Khalid Ahmadzai, used with permission.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early August. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

Wedding Cake Idea: Buttercream in Multicolor Balls

*FYI, I won’t be posting next week but will see you back here on Jan. 22. Blessings to all!

Mother of the Bride, even though it’s January and you may have just started a diet, it’s one of your MOB duties to think about cake—wedding cake that is. It may be the yummiest duty you have, so enjoy it while you can, okay?

I bet your bride-to-be-daughter will be happy to join you in your confection contemplations if she hasn’t already got her heart set on a certain cake design. If she’s still undecided, be sure to share today’s idea with her.

This cake covered in multicolor balls of buttercream icing (yum!) would be a fun design any time of year. The colors featured here would be perfect for a summer wedding, but if you’re planning a spring, fall, or winter wedding, just change up the color combination to fit the season—or the colors of the wedding.

What do you think, MOB—would this be something your daughter might go for? Have fun chatting about it and even more fun when it comes time for tasting!

*You might also like to read Wedding Cake Roundup, Wedding Cake Idea: A Crepe Cake, Wedding Cake Idea for MusiciansSpring Wedding Cake: Cherry Blossoms, and Winter Wedding Cake: Pinecones and Baby’s Breath

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Flickr photo by haleycakesandcookies, Creative Commons License

“Show Off the Ring” Engagement Photo Idea

Mother of the Bride, one of the fun parts of being an MOB is always being on the lookout for great engagement and wedding photo ideas. Funny, isn’t it, how after becoming an MOB, your eyes and ears perk up to a whole new world of sights and sounds you barely noticed before. And you know what? I have fun presenting you with a small part of that whole new world!

Today I’m super excited to share this “Show Off the Ring” engagement photo idea because I absolutely love it. I love how the couple is holding hands and how the ring is the central focus of the photo. I love how the dark clothes the bride and groom-to-be are wearing provide a dramatic color contrast for the light color of the ring. It’s perfect for making the ring stand out and truly sparkle. The bokeh effect in the background also adds to the ring being the star of the show, doesn’t it? And to top it all off, this is a super simple shot to make happen.

If you love this simple yet dramatic way to show of the ring as much as I do, MOB, why not send this blog post link to your daughter and let her take a look. I’m predicting she’ll love it as well and suggest it to their photographer when the time comes. What fun it will be to see the shot come alive with your sweet girl and the love of her life! Enjoy, MOB!

*You might also like to read Engagement Photo Idea: Show Off the Ring and Wedding Day First Dance Photo—Show Off Her Rings!

*Flickr photo by shaunanyi, Creative Commons License

Mother of the Bride Relaxation Time—with Coloring!

broadstreet-coloring-books

Mother of the Bride, I’m sure you’ve noticed the adult coloring book craze that’s swept the nation the past year or so. I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon myself yet, but I know lots of folks have and are thoroughly enjoying relaxing through coloring.

Since relaxation is something every mother of the bride longs for (and needs to work into her schedule), why not try coloring, MOB? If you enjoyed coloring as a kid, I bet you’ll love it now, too. And if you didn’t really care about coloring in your younger years, you could still give it a try. After all, we change as we grow older and often develop new hobbies and interests.

Adult coloring books can be found almost anywhere books or crafts are sold now, both in stores and online. BroadStreet Publishing, the publisher of my book Mother of the Bride, is one of many publishers offering adult coloring books. The photo above shows a few of the ones they offer—The 5 Love Languages® coloring book, Beside Still Waters, Cattitudes, and This Is the Day the Lord Has Made.

If you’re ready to relax and refresh through coloring, MOB, here are links to the coloring books BroadStreet offers as well as some links to the coloring books my blogging and artist friend Jana Botkin offers on her website. Hope you find one you’d like to try!

Majestic Expressions coloring books by BroadStreet Publishing

Heart of the Parks by Jana Botkin

Other “Heart Of . . .” coloring books by Jana Botkin

*You might also like to read Relax and Refresh with This Wedding Story and An MOB Prescription: Movie Fun! 

mob-meme-relax-and-refresh

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early November. One current or new subscriber will win a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble so don’t miss out. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Photo courtesy of BroadStreet Publishing