Archives for April 2015

Bridal Veils: The Birdcage Veil

2967332442_ab98ff9cc0Mother of the Bride, if your daughter still needs to select a veil, be sure she includes the birdcage veil among her choices. The bridal veil is one of the bride’s most important accessories in completing her look on her big day, and it’s always a good idea to consider all the possibilities.

Birdcage veils looks very classic and elegant, and believe it or not, they include lots of variety. They can complement many different styles of gowns and hairstyles as well. Have your bride-to-be take a look at Birdcage and Birdcage Veils on Pinterest to get an idea of the choices that are out there.

Initially, MOB, your daughter may not see herself in a birdcage-style veil, but as with gowns, she’ll never know how beautiful they can be until she tries some with her dress. Even if she doesn’t think she wants one, encourage her to try at least one. She might be surprised. She might just fall in love with the style!

*You might also like to read In Lieu of a Veil: Floral Bridal Combs or Hairpins, Hand-Painted Wedding Shoes for the Bride, and Sparkle Up the Bridal Garter.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out tomorrow. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Don’t miss out on the Splurge a Little Giveaway over on my home page. Deadline to enter is 6 p.m. (CST) Wednesday!

*Flickr photo by melissajean_98, Creative Commons License

Midweek Morsel: Splurge a Little Giveaway!


As April scoots out the door and May peeks in, it’s the perfect time to host a fun little giveaway to help celebrate a fast approaching Mother’s Day. You don’t have to be a mom to participate. I just like to offer most of my giveaways around holidays to help add to the general mood of celebration. It’s simply one more way of joining in the fun.

So today I give you the Splurge a Little Giveaway! The lucky winner will receive a $20 gift card to Pier 1 Imports and can splurge on a little something for herself or for someone else. The key is to just have fun with it. Let it be a little treat—a splurge!

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post by 6 p.m. next Wednesday, May 6th. If I don’t know you personally or cannot contact you via your website or blog, be sure to include your email address (such as cheryl at cherylbarker dot net). This particular giveaway has a short window of opportunity so throw your name in the hat asap.

It’s not required for the giveaway, but to make it more fun, tell me what item or items from Pier 1 you’d most like to splurge on right now. Personally, I’d have fun splurging on picture frames to help me show off my grandbabies! What about you? What would you like to splurge on?

And if you’re in the mood to splurge on someone else, you’re not alone—God loves to splurge on us, his dearly loved children, all the time. His love for us is extravagant, unending, and unconditional. He delights in blessing us. Join me in basking in his love today, won’t you?

“From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.” John 1:16

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out tomorrow. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flicker photo by cathyse97, Creative Commons License

Man’s Best Friend as Ring Bearer


Yes, Virginia, weddings with dogs as ring bearers do indeed happen. I’ve never been to one myself, but we all know people who love their doggies so much they want to include them in the wedding in some way. Having the dog act as ring bearer is one fairly simple way to do it since the rings can be secured on a pillow and then tied around the dog’s neck.

And yes, there might be some challenges when going with this plan so the happy couple needs to think through the possible scenarios in their particular situation and be ready for come what may. They first need to check with their venue to see if dogs are allowed and then they can come up with the best plan for their dog’s participation.

So, Mother of the Bride, if your Mr. & Mrs.-To-Be happen to have a dog they love and also like to be a little unconventional, they might just opt for a doggie ring bearer. Curve balls come in all shapes and sizes so be prepared if your sweet couple throws you one in the shape of a dog. Don’t say you weren’t warned! :)

*You might also like to read Burlap Ring Bearer Pillow and Flower Girl Basket.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out the first of May. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by shannylynne, Creative Commons License

Embracing the Storms

3450217305_542343a37e_z*I wrote this piece several years ago and used it in the August 2009 issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter. The next issue comes out May 1. If you have not yet subscribed, sign-up is free and to the right!

The phone startles you awake. Your boss asks you to step into his office. An email, a text, or phone message brings you to a standstill in shocked denial. Each of these, just moments in time, intrude with the power to change everything. A storm has hit.

We’ve all been there—most of us several times. The first half of this year alone, my own little family has weathered some mighty rough waters.

First, an ongoing health crisis with my mother-in-law dominated for months before leveling out to a more stable place. Then, with no warning, our son-in-law lost his job in an economy where jobs are few but applicants are plentiful. And finally, another—and far more tragic—unexpected loss struck close to home. A good friend and her son were killed in a car accident.

Through each of these storms, as well as others I’ve experienced over the years, I’ve been reminded that we are not alone. There is a refuge. God stands ready to be our strong tower, our anchor in the storms of life. In fact, it’s during dark times when he shows us the extent of his love and gives us incredible, personal touches. Many times it’s when we’re hurting that he shows himself most tender.

A few months ago I spoke with a loved one dealing with a very private storm. She had no idea how it might eventually pass or what the final outcome would be. I suggested that she try to get past the grief of the situation—to grieve, yes, but then to try to go on as well to embrace whatever God’s will or purpose might be. In other words, I encouraged her to embrace the storm.

We can find great peace in embracing storms. Not because we enjoy them, but because we know God is working through them. Not only that, but as he walks through the storms with us, we can count on moments when he will wrap his arms of love around us and even pick us up and carry us.

I hope I remember these truths the next time a storm sweeps into my life. I hope I can find the strength to embrace it. And when I do? I’m confident I’ll find the Master of the storm already embracing me.

“When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence.” James 1:2–4, J. B. Phillips translation

*Is there a storm you need to embrace in your life right now?

*Flickr photo by jlwo, Creative Commons License

Gather Photos Early for Wedding Day Slide Show

IMG_4676Mother of the Bride, I have some short and sweet advice for you today—gather photos for the Wedding Day slide show fairly early in your wedding planning journey. This is something you don’t want to put off until crunch time.

True, you’ll want to include some of the happy couple’s engagement photos which probably won’t be ready until later on, but you can start going through old photo albums and/or files on your computer as soon as you know a wedding is on the horizon. Select your favorite photos from your sweet girl’s growing up years right on up through the days she started dating her knight in shining armor. And make sure the groom knows that he and his family should be selecting their photos, too.

Give yourself a break, MOB, and do your part for the slide show before things start piling up on you. You’ll be so glad you did when you’re coming down the home stretch!

*You might also like to read Wedding Day Checklist: Containers for Leftover Cake, Wedding Day Need: Corsage and Boutonniere Pinner, and Day Before Wedding Tip: Preview Flowers.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early May. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*My photo