The Sounds of Spring: Sounds of Life

Early in the mornings, when I stick my head out the door or step outside for a few seconds to take in the beauty of the day, the sounds that greet me often capture my attention first. And right now, it’s the sounds of spring that fill the neighborhood. Yes, the sounds of life are once again in full voice.

These lively spring mornings stand in stark contrast to the silence that met my ears this winter during my early morning checks of the day. The sounds of nature seemed to freeze right along with the icicles hanging from the eaves of our home. Even God’s creatures knew when to hole up and snuggle in rather than venture out into the bitter cold.

But now the world has come to life again. Spring has turned up the volume, and I for one am loving the concert it gives each day.

The sound of birds may be my favorite. With their various melodies and calls, they soothe my soul or sometimes surprise me with sounds of a brawl. At other times, I’ll hear squirrels chattering or the steady background noise of a spring shower, and occasionally thunder will announce a coming storm. On other days, the sound of the wind tries to drown out things of lesser notice. And, of course, we humans add to the symphony with our excited proclamations of spring’s arrival and our too-early-in-the-season lawn mowing escapades.

Yes, winter is past. Spring is here. Life has begun anew. What a perfect accompaniment it was to our celebration of the Easter season. May our voices of praise to our Creator and Redeemer add to the sounds of spring, add to the sounds of life!

“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad . . .  let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them . . . ” Psalm 96:11-12 NIV

*What’s your favorite sound of spring?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Amazon 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.) *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by timsackton, Creative Commons License

Hairstyles For the Mother of the Bride or Groom

Mother of the Bride (or Mother of the Groom,) is it time to start thinking about your hair for the big day? I know you’ve got tons of other things to do too, but take a few minutes soon and consider how you might like your hair styled. You’ll be glad to check that off your list as well!

Let me direct you today to some sure-to-please hairstyles for the MOB (or MOG) featured on Martha Stewart’s website. It has an area devoted to all things wedding so you might want to check it out for other topics you’re interested in too, but for today, why not head over and take a look at 26 examples of hairstyles for mothers of the bride.

Enjoy browsing these beautiful mother-of-the-bride hairstyles, MOB! I hope one will work for you!

*You might also like to read Mother of the Bride Face Prep: Face Yoga Exercises, Mother of the Bride: 9 Easy Ways to Pamper Yourself, Most Important Part of the MOB’s Wedding Day Attire, and Mother of the Bride: Spruce Up Your Smile

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. 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 KissåCreative Commons License

Use Vision Boards to Bring Weddings to Life

Mother of the Bride, when it comes to preparing for a wedding, it’s too easy for you and your daughter to overthink the details. Even if you have the invitations, ceremony details, menu, and attire nailed down, it’s still tough to feel 100% confident in every decision when you can’t visualize everything all together.

Why not suggest the following vision board ideas and plan to her? As she creates it, she can share it with you so you can know exactly what she has in mind. But first, share this post with her!

For the Bride:

To sort through your thoughts and focus on the most important elements of planning a wedding, vision boards are lifesavers. Designing a wedding vision board helps you slow down and lay out every idea—and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether you’re a fan of cork boards or streamlined digital formats, vision boards are effective because you’re dedicating time to bring the mental images you’ve been envisioning to fruition.

So, what’s the best way to start a vision board? Let’s narrow down the process to the three stages below.

Stage 1: Figure out your goals and inspiration

If all of your ideas are saved on Pinterest or folders on your Desktop, a digital vision board is probably the way to go. There’s a lot less manual work involved in these, and most future brides and grooms will appreciate how easy it is to move things around.

However, if most of your ideas are cutouts from magazines or printed out, a traditional format like a corkboard or foam poster board might be best.

If you feel really stuck, sometimes it helps to draw inspiration from your favorite leaders, authors, poets, etc. The free printable quote cards below can be fun and meaningful reminders you can add to a vision board (or just use to inspire yourself when you’re feeling stuck.) You can download these quotables right here.

Stage 2: Prep your physical and mental space

To make your vision board creation process as enjoyable as possible, clear the space around it. No one wants to be envisioning one of the most beautiful, meaningful days of their lives when they’re in a cluttered space. The preparation has to be mental, too. With new restrictions and mandates due to the pandemic, it’s easy to let stress get the best of you (even though micro weddings can be just as magical as a huge extravaganza.) Relax and clear your mind before diving into a vision board project so you can view prospective plans with a positive mindset.

Stage 3: Organize materials and start creating

Whether you need to gather all of your saved image files, Pinterest boards, or magazine clippings, it’s helpful to gather and organize all of your vision board assets in one place. Then, the fun can begin and you can start creating.

One of the best ways to keep yourself on track with your wedding planning goals when using Pinterest is by having a checklist. This checklist below is perfect—and you can download it for free right here.

If there are certain parts of your wedding you’re still struggling to nail down (like a family tradition you don’t know how to incorporate), play around with different ways to include it on your board. When you have all of the components of your ideal wedding laid out before you, either physically or digitally, you have the power to make the decisions that are best for you.

Do you wish you had a digital vision board template to get you started? Check out the free template below. You can access it right here.

Vision boards are lifesavers for couples who want to plan out all the details but need some structure for all their ideas. Plus, if you have budget constraints or challenging restrictions due to the pandemic, vision boards allow you to be more creative with your problem-solving strategy. You can seamlessly collaborate and bring your ideal wedding to life when you’re using a vision board as a tool.

Organizing a wedding is an exciting, detail-oriented endeavor and you’ll want to make sure you’re on the same page as your partner and your wedding planner/coordinators. Like any wedding planning tool or tactic, there are dozens of ways to go about using vision boards. I hope these vision board ideas have been inspiring. Happy planning!

*Thanks to Zola and their original post  as well as Siege Media for providing me with content for this helpful post!

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out today. It’s not too late to receive it. 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.)

Bridesmaids’ Manicure: Polka Dots and More

Mother of the Bride, here’s a fun idea for your daughter’s bridesmaids—polka dot nails! It might not be something the bride herself wants to do if she wants to go classic and not have her nails draw attention away from her dress or her bouquet, but this could be super fun and cute for the rest of the girls to do if it’s done tastefully.

Other design elements to the manicure could be added as well—just the tips in polka dots, a glitter line of some sort, different designs on different fingers, etc. I’ll include a few photos below to give you some ideas.

Another thought—polka dot manicures for all the girls could be a special gift from you, the MOB, to all the bridesmaids as the bride gets her nails done too. You could do this in lieu of a bridesmaids luncheon if you’d like. What a fun outing for the bride and her best girls as they get ready to celebrate the big day. Go for it, MOB—they will love you for it!

*You might also like to read A Prayer for the Bridesmaids LuncheonA Fun Gift from the Bride to Her Maids, Fun Gift Idea: Tote Bags for the Bridal Party, and Ten Thousands Villages Gifts for the Bridesmaids.

*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.) p.s. If you sign up after Jan. 29th, you will be included in all future Life Notes giveaways but not in this current giveaway.

*Photo credits in order of appearance:

1. Flickr photo by i love nail polish. . .  2. Fickr photo by kittynailpolish  3. Flickr photo by Eye Candy Joanne Duckmanton  4. Fickr photo by kittynailpolish  5. Flickr photo by .Krol.  All with Creative Commons License.

Gift for Bridesmaids: Personalized Canvas Carry Bag

Mother of the Bride, has your daughter given any thought yet to the gift she’d like to give her bridesmaids?

Most brides give their maids a little something special just to thank them for being a special part of her big day and for all their support along the way. Some give the gifts during the rehearsal festivities and while others give them on wedding day. Some might even opt to surprise their bride tribe ladies at a bridesmaids luncheon or some other special time like a spa day together. Any time will work—it’s the gesture and heart behind it that matters the most.

Possible gift ideas abound, of course, but one super cute idea is the Beigetone Soaps Personalized Canvas Carry Bag pictured above.

Tuck in a few special items like the amazing soaps Beigetone offers and possibly a nail polish that would work perfectly with the dresses they’ll be wearing on the big day. Your daughter will have fun selecting items and whatever she includes will be a special treat for all.

This sweet little zip bag can be used in a variety of ways and will provide your daughter’s maids with a fond memory every time they use it. On wedding day it could hold the essentials each lady will need as they get ready or it might serve as a handy catch-all as they make their way to the party following the ceremony. After that the bag might become a favorite makeup bag or a handy little item to have when packing a suitcase.

So Mother of the Bride, why not suggest this idea to your darling girl? If she loves the idea, my friend Nancy at Beigetone Soaps will be happy to help in any way she can. I’ve ordered from her before and she does a wonderful job of packaging your purchase. Your daughter can send her a note if she has special requests, and Nancy will do her best to fulfill them! (By the way, MOB, this would also make a perfect little gift for you to give the mother of the groom just for fun!)

*You might also like to read Ten Thousand Villages Gifts for the Bridesmaids, A Fun Gift from the Bride to Her Maids, and Fun Gift Idea: Tote Bags for the Bridal Party

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

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out yesterday. It’s not too late to receive it. 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.)

*Photo by Beigetone Soaps