Beautiful Mondays: Gold Foil Home Decor

I had promised to show you the pictures of my printable “Love has a Name”. I will be sharing them with you today. For those of you who missed my post with the free printable, you can read it here.

With the free printable, I wanted to try out the gold foil that I had ordered a while ago. I printed the quote on patterned scrapbook paper. Then, using a laminator, I added the gold foil to it. I really like the effect it gives. It’s a fun way to add some inspiring quotes to your home decor!

Enjoy the results with me!

Home Decor Gold

Free Printable

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Beautiful Mondays: Forever

Lately, I am starting to grasp more and more what Jesus did for us when He died upon the cross. I grew up with all the Bible stories, so believing them was natural for me. I started realizing, though, that I never fully understood the depth of His love for us. I never quite knew the pain and fear that went along with His death.

A few weeks ago I was talking with someone about the hurts we can be faced with. And I said that no one would willingly take those pains on themselves so someone else can live in freedom. As soon as those words left my mouth, I finally felt like I understood what happened on that cross. Because there has been Someone who willingly took all my pain, all my fears, all my insecurities, all my struggles and challenges upon Himself so that I can live in freedom. When we come to that point of realization, when we can grasp how deep His love is, how far He went for us, then we start stepping more  into the freedom that is ours to have.

There is a song that is being listened to in our house a lot these last days. What we love most is the talking that happens in between. I want to share it with you and I hope that you can start grasping what happened on that cross and with me, slowly start stepping into freedom.

So on this Monday, remember these words that I made into a printable for you (later this week I will show pictures of it displayed in my house, but I will be trying out gold foil first). I have two different versions for you!

Love has a NameClick here for this first printable.

Hope has a nameAnd click here for the second one.

Have a beautiful Monday!

❤ Nan

Beautiful Mondays: Be Still and Create

I have been busy this last week. Busy with thinking. Busy with worrying. Busy with my son’s birthday. And busy with bringing my creative side into action. The ironic thing is that all this ‘busy-ness’ has left me wordless. There have been too many words and thoughts in my mind that I don’t even know what to write down anymore.

I have learned this weekend, though, the importance of communicating and not giving up, especially when things get rough. At home, we are going through some issues that can, at times, get very stressful. The entire atmosphere in our home threatens to get polluted by our negativity and hurt feelings then. With two small children that is not good. But talking and learning to take some rest helps. And I want to just encourage you to be still and take a step back when life gets a bit overwhelming.

Like I said, I have been busy with pursuing my creative dreams. I have been promoting some of my things on my instagram and facebook account. And I have been putting quite some thought into a name for myself. I just want to share some pictures of what I have been up to.

Party Accessories

Gift Wrapping

Follow me here on instagram to see more of my creativity!

Have a beautiful Monday!

❤ Nan

Beautiful Mondays: Waves and Wind

I think one of the hardest things in life is letting go and saying goodbye. With letting go comes a feeling of helplesness, of losing control and of emptiness.

In my life, I have moved about ten times. Each time I had to let go and say goodbye. As strange as it may sound, this just became a natural part of my life. I was used to moving on to something new. But the ironic thing is that you never get used to a goodbye. Letting go never becomes easy.

I struggle with this sometimes because my life still consists of goodbyes and learning to move on. I have found out that learning to let go is a part of life and a struggle that will never fully stop here on earth. There will always be goodbyes and things we have to let go of. But how we deal with those issues is a big part of the process.

This last week I came to the conclusion that all those years when I found it hard to have to move again or to say goodbye again, I just kept it all bottled inside. It was a part of my life, something I was used to. Yet because I never fully talked about the way I felt or let my emotions just pour out, I  learned to isolate myself. I keep people at a safe distance, not wanting to let them get to know the real me because I’m scared I’ll end up being a disappointment which would result in losing a friendship. In this process, I lost myself. And I wound up finding my identity in an eating disorder. But, here’s the thing, at one point in life you reach a point where you can no longer keep everything bottled inside. All those emotions started trying to reach the surface because you just finally want to BREATHE and feel ALIVE and be SEEN. That is the point I am starting to reach.

Yes, goodbyes are awful. Letting go of things hurts and is hard. And it is easiest to blame others. I could blame my parents for making the decision to move. But that wouldn’t be fair, since they were only being obedient to their calling. And on top of that, they have had to leave behind as much as me and say just as many (or maybe more) goodbyes. Or I could then blame God, since He’s the One who’s calling my parents are following. But that also wouldn’t be right because God promised that He has GOOD plans for us, to give us  hope and a future. Then the natural thing for me to do is to blame myself. I’m not fun enough or good enough or spontaneous enough. But in doing that, I’m not being fair to myself.

So, then, what would be the right thing to do? One of the hardest things: to learn to let go. 

I heard the following song from Bethel music last week and this sentence really stood out to me: So let go my soul and trust in Him.The waves and wind still know His name.

Our situations my constanstly change, as do our emotions. But there is One who never does.

If you are struggling or feeling hurt or alone or tired, I encourage you to listen to this song today.

And remember, the waves and wind still know His name! Rest in that.

Have a beautiful Monday!

❤ Nan

Beautiful Mondays: A lemony memory

Lemon Bars

When I was in high school, I lived in a dorm for a while because my parents were doing missionary work in a small town that was located (or isolated) on top of a mountain. My sister and I lived with a family and about 6 other kids. Each night, there would be a home-baked snack waiting for us. My all-time favorite was the lemon bar. If I ate one, I had to eat another one…and another one…and just one more.

This, however, became quite a conflict when I started dieting. All other snacks (and food) I could easily avoid and ignore. The lemon bar, however, was my weakness. When those were baked, a plate full would be beckoning me to take not just one, but a couple more.When my dieting started to become an obsession and my dorm-mom starting worrying, the lemon bar started making a weekly appearance. And my dorm-mom would lovinlgy tell me that she had made lemon bars, just for me. I hated this. All I wanted was to eat nothing, definitely not anything sweet, but there was that plate with lemon bars, begging me to eat just one. But one was never enough. So, they were my weakness. I don’t think I stopped eating them during that time. Maybe I just limited the amount.

Well, back in Holland, I got to know my husband who loves all things lemony. So I decided to ask my dorm-mom for her recipe and make him lemon bars. I was SHOCKED when I saw the ingredients. No wonder my dorm-mom loved feeding the way too skinny me those bars! The amount of sugar (and butter) would make any dieting person look the other way.

These lemon bars still are a weakness to me. And now have become a special request from my husband and baby son. I enjoy eating them on a warm summer day. And they always bring back the memories of my times in the dorm.

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars by CB

So, for all you lemon-lovers and those with a sweet tooth, here is a lemon bar recipe you must give a try. You won’t regret them.

Recipe for Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars
Ingredients:
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1/4 cup lemon juice

How to make it:
Combine flour, sugar and butter.
Pat into greased 13×9 inch baking pan.
Bake at 350 F for 20 mintues.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, flour and lemon juice until frothy. Pour over the hot crust.
Bake ate 350 F for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cool on wire rack.
Dust with powdered sugar.
Cut into squares.

Enjoy this recipe and let me know what you think!

Have a beautiful Monday!

❤ Nan

P.s. Don’t forget to follow me on instagram, where you can follow my journey as a beginning stylist.

Beautiful Mondays: DIY – Pass a Note

I don’t know how you spent your hours during high school, but me and one of my best friends spent most of our hours passing notes. There always was something of utter importance to say that could not wait till the end of the period. Usually our notes included our weekly crushes, whom we had the perfect code names for. Silly but memorable times.

Now, each living on different continents, we still spend our time passing notes. It now takes a bit longer for our notes to get to each other, but the tradition of writing important news to each other has remained. Our weekly crushes have been replace by stories about our husbands and our dramatic high school issues have been replaced with sharing the reality of our lives.

Passing Notes

Sending someone a card or letter was very common years ago. Now with internet and whatsapp, taking the time to send someone a handwritten letter or a postcard seems unnecessary and old-fashioned. But there is a lot of joy in finding a card in your actual mailbox instead of your email. Someone taking the time to write down what is going on in their lives and encouraging is a treat.

Today I want to encourage you to do this yourself. I guess I have a little DIY for you after all. Write someone a letter. Or if you really want to put some effort into it, you can make someone a card like I did!

DIY Postcard

Don’t forget to send it to them. Go to the post office, by a stamp and mail it. It will definitely surprise someone and put a smile on their face.

Have a beautiful Monday!

❤ Nan

Beautiful Mondays: Stepping into the light

Stepping into the light

A while back I had mentioned that I had started an internship with a stylist. I had helped out with a couple of things already. This last past week, however, I got a phone call that the internship would no longer be possible, due to changes taking place in her family. I was upset, hurt, disappointed and even a little mad when I heard this. I felt like the hope that had been given to me, suddenly had shattered. My first reaction was to quit completely, not even experiment with styling for myself. But then I realized that quitting wouldn’t help anyone and it would definitely not be a positive reaction for myself.

The lady I was interning with, called back to make sure I was doing alright. She told me I do have all the talents and creativity hidden inside of me and that I should definitely continue with what I am doing. She just didn’t expect her circumstances to change as quick as they did.

I am used to things not working out. Well, I say I am used to it, but each time it happens, I get just as disappointed as the time before. When you hope something will work out well for you and it doesn’t go the way you planned or hope, no matter what it is, feelings of disappointment and hurt will always surface. This weekend, though, I realized that what we do when disappointment and hurt want to take control, is crucial. We can withdraw ourselves and quit, like my first reaction was. Or we can challenge ourselves to look beyond our hurt, step into the light and look for new opportunities. It’s like they say, there is always another door that will open when one is closed.

So, instead of quitting and feeling sorry for myself, I took a step towards the light. How? By focussing on the styling projects I have right now: a love photoshoot and a one-year-old birthday party. Doing that, focussing on that what I do have, really helped. I have felt re-energized and excited to create beauty.

Today I want to encourage you to start stepping into the light if you are feeling disappointed or let down. There is always another opportunity or a different road. Don’t let those feelings get the best of you. Try creating beauty, even if it’s in small ways that barely seem to matter.

I wanted to share a picture of the suitcases I had painted for the wedding that I had helped out with while interning. I love how they turned out!

Suitcases

Have a beautiful Monday!

❤ Nan

Beautiful Mondays: A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

Today I have some reflective thoughts for you. No pictures, just words.

Yesterday I was encouraged by the message from our pastor on the poetic words “there is a time for everything…”. He reminded us that in this life, nothing is sure and we will go through different seasons. Some hard and challenging and others filled with joy and encouragement. He encouraged us to think about the season we personally are in right now. Are we experiencing a time of laughing or crying? Are we being molded and built up or are we an encouragement to others? He then challenged us to accept our current situation and trust that the One who is in control has the time in His hands. He knows what he is doing. 

I was really encouraged by those words because I am currently going through a challenging period where I am being molded. There are some “bad habits” that I need to learn to let go of and start becoming the woman I am meant to be: a strong, secure, creative and talented person. This process sometimes feels like a season without end. And the farther along I get, the more challenges I am faced with. 

Yesterday I realized that it is okay. It is okay to say I am tired and do not always feel like pressing on. But I need to remember and remind myself that this season too shall pass. And I am in the hands of the One who has ALL things on earth and in heaven in His hands. 

It all comes down to one thing: trust. This is something I, as a woman who wants to have control over everything, really struggle with. I was challenged with that again and it is something I am working on. Trust.

The question that I am faced with is: do I trust that everything has a time and a season and that there is One who has it in control? One who will work all things out for our good, even when we don’t always understand?

On this beautiful Monday, just be still and be blessed. 

Have a beautiful Monday!

❤️ Nan

P.s. Follow me along on Instagram to follow my styling creations! 

Beautiful Mondays: Free Printable

This has been one of those weeks where I have been challenged by motherhood. Our almost two year old son has discovered that he can climb out of his bed. This has resulted in little sleep for him and trying days for me and my husband. When I am sleep deprived, I tend to get emotionally unstable. It then is harder for me to fight my insecurities and my negative thoughts.   I tend to let my insecurities and fears take control.

Constantly, however, I am reminded that my thoughts need to change. Once my thoughts start to change, my actions and attitude will change. Each time the words whatever is true, whatever is right come to mind. I decided I needed to create something with this so I can display it somewhere in my house as a constant reminder.

Free Printable Whatever is

I am excited to share my first printable with you! I have made two versions. The first one has a pink watercolor background. And the second one is black and white. I realized the latter would probably match most home decors better.

Whatever is

You can download the pink free printable here.

The black and white printable you can download here.

Comment below to tell me what you think and if you used it, show me!

Have a beautiful Monday,

❤ Nan

* The credits for the watercolor background go to Angie Makes. She has some great freebies and her site is worth taking a visit to.

Beautiful Mondays: Made to Shine

DIY Picture Display
Being a mother gives me bitter-sweet feelings. I love having children, watching them develop and learn. I enjoy their innocence and interest in the world around them. Yet often, I am filled with a fear. A fear that I won’t always be able to protect them from the dangers and temptations of this world. A fear that in the process of growing up, I will lose them somehow. When that fear starts creeping up, it can, at times, consume me. I reach a point that all I want to do is move ourselves to an island where it’s just my little family. Where I can protect and care for them. But then the ‘sweet’ part of motherhood kicks in when I see my son not only exploring but mostly enjoying the little things around him. One of his biggest joys right now is being able to play on his dad’s drums. He gets this proud and satifying look on his face, like he has found his right place and purpose.

We took a picture of that a couple of weeks ago. I had to print it out and scrapbook it into something I could place in our home. Looking at this picture, I am reminded that we were made to shine. Each of us has something that lights up a fire in us, that makes us shine on the inside and on the outside. When we find what that is, big or small, and start investing in that, I believe we will become a lot more relaxed. We will be at ease because we have found our right place and our purpose: to be the light and to shine.

Home Decor Shine
I have to be reminded of this daily, which is why I decided to write it down and display it in our home.

On this Monday, be the beautiful you and shine. And do this stretching warm-up to start your week off well and help you shine!

It made me feel more ready for this week!

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”

Have a beautiful Monday!

❤ Nan