Introducing The Mini Charcoal Lacey Zip Up, and etc.

Evy needed a dark charcoal hoodie so we whipped up a couple of these puppies…

The Mini Charcoal Grey Lacey Zip Up

I think you will love this one. It’s made from the flex fleece poly blend hood from American Apparel and is OH SO soft inside. Plus it has the traditional lace and ruffles cascading down the shoulder

Click HERE to snag one!

Also did you see the Food Friday for this week? It’s a link up party and we’ve already has some link ups! Head on over and check out what they have to share as well! :) Click HERE to see it.

And Lastly, the Bargain of the Week ends Sunday. Click HERE to purchase.

So I’m wondering…does anyone have a particular item they would like to see in next week’s Bargain? Leave a comment with the item you want, I’ll take a look at it and see if we have enough stock to make it the weekly deal! :)

Happy Friday everyone! xoxo

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Food Friday: Tuna with Dill on Toasted Sourdough

Welcome to our first every linky party!

I have no idea how this will go or if we will even get one link up, but no matter, it’s a fun thought and I have loved trying to give this a whirl. Just a little history: I started Food Friday on my blog over a year ago to document/share my recipes with my friends and family and to hold myself accountable to actually cook and think more about food for my family rather than work right through dinner time and serve mac and cheese instead {I’m REALLY good at that! ha :)}. My Food Friday posts focus on a meal I love, a tip I have learned or a restaurant or specific food I love and/or discover.

I decided to make Food Friday a link up party when talking to some newly married girls and young mothers…they all told me how much they love my Food Fridays and how desperate they are for new easy and fun recipes to try. I remembered what it was like as a newly married girl and then as a new mom spending hours researching recipes for my family. But really, who has time for that now a days? I thought wouldn’t it be great if we had a bunch of yummy recipes right here every week that we could all try every now and then. It gives us a chance to meet each other and enjoy all your foods, and allows some of us to meet who would never actually meet before. Sounds like fun to me, how about you?

So I hope you link up! I will be pinning all your recipes into the my Food Friday board on Pinterest, so make sure you include a good picture! And make sure you insert the Food Friday button into your post….you can use a post from the past or make a new Food Friday post every week, but just include the button!

Now without further adieu, I want to tell you about one of my favorite childhood recipes: Tuna with Dill on Toasted Sourdough. Don’t get turned off by the title…I know Tuna is definitely a subject not everyone agrees on, but I have known people who HATED tuna before they tried this recipe and now love it. It really is sooo good. This particular sandwhich always ended up in my lunch pail, and kids at school would get so excited when I brought it and would beg for bites. I’m not kidding!

So here’s what you need:

Tuna With Dill On Toasted Sourdough

{If you are going to put this in your child’s lunch, skip the toasting part}

1 Can of Tuna

Mayo

Dill

Sourdough bread

Spreadable butter

Salt

pepper

Lettuce and tomato {optional}

Open the can of tuna, drain and put in a bowl with a very large spoonful of mayo and LOTS and LOTS of dill. It will look like this:

Mix ingredients. You want to break up the chunks of tuna and mix in the mayo and dill until it is all blended. You will continue to add mayo until the mixture is no longer dry and you find a consistency you like. The more mayo the better for me, but it’s not entirely healthy, so I try to cut back there. ha.

After you mix the tuna, take a piece of sourdough bread and toast to your desired toastiness {FYI, I suggest not toasting too much, the bread gets hard and hurts your mouth. ha}. Then lather on the butter {yes, LATHER, I know not healthy}

Cut in half and add the tuna to one side

Then add your lettuce and tomato and top with salt and pepper {I skip the tomato and lettuce for my kiddos since they don’t like it}

Fold together and serve with fruits or veggies {carrot sticks are a winner with this one!}

I hope you give it a try. Seriously, it will change your feelings about tuna forever! :)

So don’t forget to link up! I’m looking forward to reading all your recipes! Big hugs friends! xoxo

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WWWW {What We Wore Wednesday} and Bargain of the Week

This week’s WWWW should be entitled, “Evy’s Tree in….” as they are all destination photos. So cool! I love hearing about where Evy’s Tree travels!!

The first one is Kirsten over at I Love to Teach. Here is Evy’s Tree in Ireland! LOVE!

And Nicola’s precious little one is wearing Evy’s Tree in Scotland. That castle in back..stunning!

Here’s Rebecca and her sister in law Stacey…Evy’s Tree in Sea World!! :)

And how about this one? Evy’s Tree waiting to go somewhere! :) Love it. Korey’s little girls being photoed by their aunt Leigh Ann

Have a picture of you wearing Evy’s Tree? Email me, and I’ll use you in our WWWW posts! Amy@evystree.com

Linking up with Lindsey today.

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Did you read about Bargain of the Week? Click HERE if not…the low down is every Monday there will be a new item that is significantly marked down for one week only. The item marked down is in stock and ready to ship and in many cases {such as this week} the item marked down may be limited and when it’s gone it’s gone…or perhaps it’s something we have all the time, but I have quite a bit in stock and want to get rid of some, or maybe I am just in the mood to mark an item down {ha!}. Either way, the item will be marked down until Sunday, and then it will be put back to regular price.

This week’s bargain is the Winter White Diana Wrap. You can always find out what the Weekly Deal is by looking over on the side bar of the blog, right about the blog catergories, a picture will be posted and if you click on the picture of the item it will take you to the listing. It looks like this:

I hope this helps some of you who are wanting to purchase something but feel you need to wait until a sale only. This way, there is ALWAYS a sale going on. :)

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Lastly, don’t forget the Food Friday linky party starts this Friday! Either link up with a food post you have done recently or do your own Food Friday post, but either way, don’t forget to grab the button on the sidebar and include it in your post! :)

Big hugs everyone! xoxo

Monday Ramblings

Tonight’s post is going to be full of LOTS of thoughts…I hope you don’t mind. :)

First, have you entered in the amazing giveaway from our sponsor Totes In Tow?

Seriously, Evy has not put either of these bags down since we got them. She LOVES them! Click HERE to enter.

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Last night I reread the entire Shabby Chic Home Book by Rachel Ashwell.

Have you ever read it? I love it so much. I’ve had it forever but just revisited it since I realized I need a little help in a couple rooms in our house…namely our guest bathroom that we are getting ready to remodel here soon. Anyway, its so super inspirational, especially if you are redoing a house. And to be honest, I’ve been spending so much time on different DIY home blogs and pinterest, that I am starting to feel like I am losing the real me and what kind of decorating I really love. Have I mentioned before that I love Rachel Ashwell? Yeah, I’m sure I have. ha. And it felt so good to reread that book and remember WHY I choose to decorate the way I do.

If you have never read it…READ IT!! :)

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I am trying something new this week….it’s called Bargain of the Week. I will pick one item that I will discount. What I list is in stock and ready to ship and is not available for preorder, which means that if you want it then you should snag it…BUT, they will all be marked down for one week only, Monday- Sunday. Every Monday there will be new bargain, for that week only. This week’s bargain is the Winter White Diana Wrap:

It’s marked down $15…not bad, huh? :) This bargain will be over on Sunday and we’ll pick a new item to mark down. Feel free to let me know if you are looking for something in particular to purchase!

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Did you read Friday’s post regarding Food Friday {HERE}?

We’re going to try out our first ever linky party this Friday…will you join us? We’ve never done a link up like this before, so have no idea how it will turn out, but thought it would be fun to give it a try for a week. If you are interested, do a food post either on Friday {and entitle it Food Friday} or some other time during this week and add our button in your post {you can grab it on the sidebar}, and then link up with us on Friday.

I would like to pin onto my Food Friday board {HERE} every recipe that is linked up on Friday, so make sure you include some sort of photo or clip to be pinned!

I am really looking forward to reading some of your recipes that you share…I need some new ones! :)

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Do you homeschool? Not sure how many homeschool moms I have reading this…but for those of you who are AMAZING and do homeschool, I want to introduce you to my sister Pam {driving} and her friend Shelly.

Shelly and my sister each have three kiddos each and homeschool them all{my sister has been doing it for almost 10 years}. They are amazing!! At any given day I will go over to my sister’s and she will have an entire group of kiddos over at her house doing a History project, or learning to sew, or bake…or reading circles…you name it!! Seriously, these two are incredible. My sister is a RN…she has given up a very high paying job to stay home and teach her kids because she feels called to do it. She has real conviction and its just so inspirational to see her kids flourish.

Well, a couple years back Shelly and Pammy decided they wanted to take a trip across America with their kids…stopping at all the major landmarks and historical sites that they have studied over the years. My sister had an old RV and they planned out an entire course that would take about two and a half months. They were determined to do it and have been saving for a long time to make it happen for their kiddos. Well, I am proud to say, last week they made it happen.

Shelly and Pammy have overcome tons of obsticles and have struck on out on their own {their husbands are taking vacation time and meeting up with them for 2 weeks next month} with 5 kids {my nephew couldn’t go due to missing sports}. I am so proud of them! I have to be honest and say I don’t think I would have the guts to drive an RV on my own for 2 and half months. But I know their kids will never forget this and can you imagine how much they are learning from this living history class???

The kiddos at the River Walk in San Antonio.

My sister is blogging about their adventure…you can follow along with their story HERE. And if you homeschool {or are thinking about homeschooling} my sister is the master!! I think you will enjoy her journey. :)

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Finally, there is NOTHING better than my kiddos climbing in bed with me in the morning and piling on top of me.

OMW. I love these kids so much it hurts. When I kiss them I feel like I can’t even get enough of them. When they are cuddling with me like this, I breathe in their smells {each of them has a different smell} and try so hard to burn it in my memory.

There is nothing like being a mommy.

I have a confession…today I looked at Evy and realized she is no longer a baby. :( It is a sad realization. I am going to tell you a secret… today the words “Maybe we should have one more” actually came out of my mouth while chatting with Brandon. YES. THEY. DID. SCARY.

Don’t panic, we’re pretty sure we’re done {I’m old and we’re poor! ha}, but when I look at my kids and realize they are going to be gone soon {ok, I know that’s a bit rash, but the time will come before we know it}…I start to panic! :(

OH….Did I tell you guys Jake is riding his bike without his training wheels?!?! YES! He is! And he’s a pro!

 WAHHH. Where’d my little boy go?!?!

OOOKKKAAAAY…that’s enough for tonight! ha. Sorry to over load you! Big hugs everyone! xoxo

Dear Autocorrect and Food Friday Linky Party?

In case you don’t follow me on Instagram {evystree}, I thought I would fill you in on the craziness that went on over there on Wednesday. Yes, I have issues with autocorrect. UGH.

I started out ok, but HUH? “I SOY evys tree!!” oh boy. I was supposed to say SPY. As in I SPY Evy’s Tree. Good grief. Thankfully I took 4 years of Spanish so I can at least say I know what SOY means…however it is completely NOT what I meant here.

And then a few seconds later I post this puppy

Right. A “Jensen” skirt? ha. To answer @iluvmy2sonz… I have no idea what a Jensen skirt is. I know what a jean skirt is, but not a jensen. If anyone knows please enlighten me.

So I posted those and had no idea what I said until after church Wednesday night when I was browsing instagram and realized what I had done. I was just going to type an explanation under each picture when my dear friend Heidi texted me this:

Well, there you go. So I posted that on Instagram as my explaination. Unfortunately nobody liked it or thought it was funny. I guess I’m the only one who’s autocorrect hates them. So here’s what I have to say to autocorrect:

“Dear Autocorrect, Please stop changing words without my permission. If it is spelled wrong please leave it. I may want it to be spelled wrong, but regardless, nobody wants things changed without their knowledge. Also, please stop turning hoodies into goodies. You should know by now that I use the word hoodies daily, I use goodies NEVER. Thank you, Amy”

And I have been told you can turn off autocorrect, so I will be figuring that one out once I am done with this post.

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So Food Friday…let’s talk about it. I love doing Food Friday. It makes me cook more and also helps me become more creative. In case you are new to our blog, Food Friday is where I share a favorite recipe of mine, or maybe a new food tip, or perhaps a new restaurant I have tried and love.

You want to know something crazy? Anytime I meet someone new and find out they read my blog, they ALWAYS say to me…. “Please don’t stop Food Friday, I love them and they help so much!” I hear that especially from the new wives and new mothers out there. Well, I started thinking about back when I was newly married and I remembered how I felt I needed a bunch of recipes…how I felt I was clueless as to what to cook and how I really wished someone would pretest a recipe for me so I wouldn’t have to waste good money on trying it myself. So I had an idea….

Why not make Food Friday a linky party? In case you have never participated in one…a linky party is when a blog post is opened up and you can add your link that is related to the blog post. It creates a bunch of thumbnails of great blog posts all related to the subject of the original blog post {not sure I’m making much sense! ha}. Anyway, I thought it would be so cool if weekly we got together and shared all our recipes. You can catalog it right here under the Food Friday posts and give other people a chance to hop over to your blog and try out your recipe. You could either link up your Food Friday post that you published on Friday, or you could link up a food blog post you did throughout the week, either way! Can you imagine all the great recipes we’d have access to?

So I think this coming week we’ll give it a whirl. Would love to know your thoughts? If you are interested in participating, grab a Food Friday button and add it either to a post on food sometime this week or a Food Friday post on Friday and link up next week! I hope to have my Food Fridays finished and scheduled to post at 12:01 AM on Friday mornings. :)

So talk to me! What do you think??

Big hugs friends! xoxo

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WWWW {What We Wore Wednesday} and A Shop Update

We have some cuties this week….all of them are either related to me or personal friends. ha. Kinda cool how that turned out! :)

First my sweetheart. I love her oh so much. She is wearing the new White Rabbit Simple Remix. It looks SO DARLING on her. There are some left HERE.

This is Kim. I love her. She is an amazing girl….us Miraflors are thankful for Kim. My mom bought her a hoodie for her birthday and she choose this red simple. I have a couple left in various sizes if anyone is interested…just email me amy@evystree.com

This is Vanessa. She is married to our dear friend Abraham. Abraham is like Brandon’s little brother, they have know each other their entire life. Vanessa and Abe just got married and as a little gift for their honeymoon, I gave her the Grey Lacey Zip Up. She is soo darling in it!!

This is my friend Chrystyna. I have been working with her on a project lately and I have really enjoyed getting to know her. She is very awesome and I would LOVE to have her work at Evy’s Tree!! ha :) She is wearing the Grey Simple.

And this is me…I am wearing the Brilla Mini Dress in the Pink POlka. I LOVE this thing! It is sooo comfy. In case you are wondering, I wear a size 4 on top and am 5’7″ and it fits great.  You can get one HERE.

Ignore the silly face…sorry! ha.

So I wasn’t sure what sizes this hoodie would fit, I knew it would fit a size 0-2 {my model}, 4-6 {me} but didn’t know about an 8-10. Well, I was over at my sister in law’s house and tore off my dress and had her try it on. She is 5’3″ and wears a size 10. SHE LOOKS FAB. So great that I made her keep the dress!! HA.

Want to be on our WWWW? Send me {amy@evystree.com} your picture with your name  and we’ll get you featured!

Linking up with Lindsay today!

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Just a quick update…thank you to everyone who bought at new spring item last week! We do still have a few items left, and some are near selling out. The following are almost gone:

The Zebra Simple Remix Adult and Mini

The Purple Lovers Brilla Mini Dress

The Tangerine Diana Wrap

Lastly, do you receive our Evy’s Tree email newsletter? If not, I suggest you subscribe. There will be something special arriving in your inbox tomorrow. :) Click HERE, scroll down to the bottom left and click on “sign up for our newsletter” to subscribe.

Big hugs friends!!! xoxo

How I Keep My White Slipcovers White

Well, here it is, the answer to the question you all have been dying to ask {or maybe HAVE asked, ha!}…

How in the world do I live with white furniture/slipcovers AND two young children?

The answer is simple and involves three words: washable, oxy-clean and bleach…and that is in order of importance BTW. :)

I would be amiss if I didn’t start this post off with WHY I have white furniture. Waaayyy back when {over 12 years ago now} I found Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic. There was a lovely little boutique in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square that sold her furniture. I would walk into that store and feel right at home. The whole blend of fancy and imperfect, squashy and formal, livable and elegant just really grabbed my attention and caused me to fall in love. It was so me. I knew when I had my own place my house would have to mimic this style.

When I moved out of my parents home and had my first apartment with my friend Joy, I bought Rachel’s books and poured over them. Her whole philosophy of finding something old and making it new worked for me. I didn’t have much money and according to her concepts, I could have a beautiful and stunning home with little fuss. The first thing Joy and I did was buy a set of couches and an ottoman from a model home garage sale {we spent $200 on the trio} and had some friends create a slipcover for the couches. I covered the ottoman with a quilt. I still have those same couches covered with the same slipcovers {they are now in my living room} and the ottoman still sits proudly in my family room, however now has a slipcover of it’s own.

Rachel’s staple color for slipcovers was white, and so we followed suit. The last time I heard Rachel speak, she was asked by an audience member why in the world did she choose white with kids? Her answer was the same as the one I gave you above. I was sitting in the back of the room during the lecture, but I wanted to jump and clap in agreement to stop all the naysayers that were in the room…. if you have kids, white is most definitely the best color you could choose to decorate with. I am a witness! :)

When we bought our first home in Stockton eight years ago, my parents helped us buy Rachel’s Elegant sofa and her Squadgy chair for our family room. The pieces have deep down cushions which makes the sofa and chair oh-so-very large and welcoming. Rachel’s stores went out of business a couple years back, however she reopened several stores under a new Couture line and she has reproduced the same sofa {here} and chair {here} but under a new name.

So I am sure you are all thinking this is fabulous information but how in the world do I keep them all clean?!?! SIMPLE! We wash them once every month or two. I do all three pieces {sofa, chair and ottoman} in two loads with my front load washer. When I had a regular machine, I did it three loads. Here’s how I do it:

Start with a dirty couch. We eat on ours, drink milk, the whole nine yards. This couch gets used DAILY.

There were large splashes of coffee on the arm

and there was pen on the cushion

And yes, both these spots will come out. It might take two washings, but it will come out, I promise!

I actually only did the couch this time. I washed both the couch and the chair last month, but the couch has been beaten up this month. I can’t handle it when the couch starts to stink like little kids! ha. So in the wash it goes. Anyway, I did the couch in two loads because I felt like it. :) Here it is with the pillows and cushions off….

I pile them into a pile and look closely for stains. 

And then I take to the laundry room and treat with oxyclean spray. I can’t say enough about this spray. It has saved me over and over through the years.

This cover has been sprayed with Oxyclean. If it’s really bad I’ll let them sit for 10 minutes or so. The coffee stain could have used that as a tiny bit of it didn’t come out. It will come out the second time though, it always does.

And then I toss into the wash and add liquid soap and powder oxyclean in the presoak section. I buy the powder at Costco. Sorry for the blurry picture.

I wash on COLD and do the PRESOAK option as well.

Easy Peasy right? And it looks beautiful after done!

And remember you have two sides to each pillow and cushion, which means when ours gets really, we flip them and have a clean side. When both sides are dirty I know its time to wash. 

Questions? Comment and I’ll answer! Hope that clears things up for you all! Oh and you can pin it too! :) xoxo

UPDATE: It totally slipped my mind to tell you I put everything in the dryer! When we first got the slipcovers I put them in the dryer for 20 mins and then put them on damp and let them dry overnight but about two or three years ago, we just started drying them. The slipcovers have last for eight years, but are getting a bit run down, so I am sure in the next couple years we will have to have new slipcovers made.

Also, regarding bleach: I use only when necessary to get out a nasty stain. I want to prolong the life of the covers as much as possible, so I try to stick to oxyclean and whatever stains those don’t get out, I’ll use bleach, either dab a little on via a Q-tip or put in the wash cycle. Hope that helps! :)

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I Am Home

Sometimes I cannot believe I am back in Santa Rosa. Just can’t believe it. When I left in 2002, I didn’t know if I would ever come back. But I hoped. When I married Brandon, I pretty much gave up the idea. He was born and raised in Stockton, and furthermore we had chosen ministry as a career…we most likely could never afford to live in Sonoma County again as living in the San Francisco Bay area is expensive. VERY expensive.

Choosing Ministry as a career was not an easy option for me. I was raised with a lot. We always had more than enough. And here I was, entering a world I was unfamiliar with…it was scary, stressful and sometimes frustrating. But I had known since I was 12 years old that I would be a youth pastor’s wife. And I could not deny that doors were opening that could only be a God thing, so I walked through them. And I was blown away by what God did, just by my simple act of faith by stepping out.

When Brandon and I got engaged, we began looking for a home. We had some money set aside and wanted to invest it wisely. We started looking right at the very beginning of the San Joaquin housing market boom, so thankfully, prices of homes weren’t too high {although definitely higher than normal}. We wanted to purchase a charming little old bungalow downtown by the Universtity of the Pacific, but my dad {THANKS DAD} talked us out if. He explained that we would spend years on end and lots and lots of money fixing it up. He suggested one of the track homes being built on the North West side of town.

I cried. At the beginning of our dating period, I made Brandon promise me that we would NEVER, EVER live in a track home {they don’t have much of those in Santa Rosa and I thought they were so very ugly ha}. But I knew deep down my dad was right. We finally found a development that wasn’t too track home-y and went in with our preapproval letter from the bank, thinking we’d find a home pretty quickly. Ha. What a joke. There was a giant waiting list for homes. We were out of luck.

Brandon and I prayed. We told the Lord exactly which house we liked in the development we were looking at. Asked Him for a corner lot. Explained to Him the color choice we liked. We also told God that in the house plan we wanted…there was an option for a 4th bedroom in place of a 3rd garage. We wanted that too. We were specific. A couple weeks later, the realtor for the housing development called us. She had a house whose buyer feel through, would we like to come look at it? We drove over and looked at the paperwork she had for us.

It was the exact same house we prayed for. Exactly. 

Needless to say, we bought the home, moved in and lived seven wonderful years there. I love Stockton and always will. I consider it one of my home towns. I lived there for 9 years, and that does not include the 5 years there previously attending Bible School. Combining those years, I have lived in Stockton for almost as long as I have lived in Santa Rosa. It will always hold a special place in my heart. ALWAYS.

This morning I was reading about the exodus of the Israelites in the book of Exodus. I came across a verse I have never noticed before:

“So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing…..With the dough they had brought from Egypt, they baked cakes of unleavened bread. The dough was without yeast because they had been driven out of Egypt and did not have time to prepare food for themselves.” {verses 34 and 39, NIV}

Wow. They left with something, but not everything. They had part of the ingredients to feed themselves, but not all. They walked out on FAITH. I can’t be positive why these verses really hit me, but I think it’s because that is how I felt leaving Santa Rosa for Stockton…and then Stockton for Santa Rosa this time around. I felt scared, wondering..feeling like I had a little bit of the equation, but not all. It was new, unsure.

I had the dough, but didn’t know where the yeast would come from.

The cool thing about these verses is that they ate the bread without the yeast. And they still survived. In fact it became normal to them. And that was ok. I love that. That’s exactly how I felt when I moved to Stockton…it was strange. It was foreign {IT WAS HOT!! ha}. It wasn’t home. But it became normal for me. It became home. And I was ok with it. I embraced it, and I loved it. God provided. ALWAYS.

When it came time for our Stockton chapter to end, Santa Rosa seemed unattainable. Even when God did another miracle with our new home {you can read about that HERE}, I felt a little bit like those Israelites, walking away from their home with some ingredients missing. I had no idea how it would work out. I still don’t to be honest. We live by faith. ALWAYS.

But…even still, I am home. I am home! I am where I grew up and with my family. I am shocked and surprised. I never thought I would get here. That unleaved bread of Stockton became so normal for me. It became a place I loved. So much so that I didn’t know if I wanted to come back to Santa Rosa. But it was time. And God made the impossible, possible.

I guess I am writing this because I want to encourage someone who is feeling like they just ran out of their life with the dough only. Like the Israelites leaving the yeast behind, you feel like you have left all that was important to you and moved on. You may feel  {and SEE} God opening doors for you to do other things and step out of your comfort zone, but like I was, you are scared, maybe frustrated at times. Everything feels foreign. The unleavened bread that you are now eating tastes funny. It doesn’t seem right. But don’t give up!! I promise you, those 9 years I lived in Stockton, married my husband, stepped into full time ministry, began a family…they are some of the best years of my life. And I know that if God leads you, He will fulfill His promises. HE IS FAITHFUL.

And now I am home. And it starts all over again. I am learning to live here, just as I learned to live in Stockton. It is a new chapter. Life is full of them. But now, because I stepped out before, I’m not as afraid to step out again. I believe with all my heart that God will take care of us, that He will provide, that He will make my home REALLY home again. Because that’s what he does, He “…calls things that were not as though they were.”{Romans 4:17}

I love you dear friends. I pray for whoever is reading this who needs encouragement. You can make it. I believe that with all my heart. Follow what God has asked you to do. You will never regret it. NEVER.

Beautiful Sonoma County. I am home.

xoxo

Sponsor Giveaway: Totes in Tow

We have something special for you all today. I’d like to introduce you to our newest sponsor, Totes in Tow.

Introducing Julie:

Hi, my name is Julie and I am the owner/designer behind Totes In Tow! I opened my Etsy shop in 2007 when I became a stay-at-home  Mom as a way for me to have a creative outlet. I now have a 6 year old son and (almost) 3 year old daughter.  Although it is often hard to find the time to create, I manage to fit it in. I typically have a dozen different projects going at the same, with another dozen on my “wish” list.  I love to sew, bake, craft, throw elaborate parties, and shop!

The Totes featured in my shop were created to bring organization and function to all my everyday items. I use them for myself and two children daily. Whether it is a trip to run errands, the library, dining out, or an all day adventure, I know everyone has what they need in their bag.  I am constantly on-the-go with my kids, which means I always leave the house with a lot of stuff. I pack each child’s bag with what they need for the day. My daughter takes her bag to our athletic club’s childcare room and she is always so proud to carry it. They also each have one for our weekly trips to the library.  I even have one for myself! And to my daughter’s liking, I carry a Mini Tote, which makes a great purse for little girls. Thank you so much for taking the time to read about Totes In Tow and I hope you will participate in our giveaway!

Julie sent Evy and I the cutest set of totes ever. They were packaged so nicely,

and they were so much fun to open up {excuse the messy cutting table, shipping time!}

And they are simply STUNNING. So gorgeous! The Preschool Tote in Bloom and the Mini tote in Spring Flowers

The excitement over them can be felt in this picture. She was SO excited!

She decided right away that her Barbies needed to be tucked into the mini one

I decided right away we needed to pack some diapers and books in the preschool one, which fit perfectly with room to spare! AWESOME.

Evy couldn’t stop trying on her little one, it looked so cute on her

Her Mumsy came and picked her up for a Starbucks date…she insisted on taking both bags, one inside the other. She stole mine!! :)

These bags are really, really beautiful and so well made. They are also reversible. I have already thought of several ways to use the bags…you could even use it as a grocery bag at Trader Joe’s and get that ticket for bringing your own bag! :) They are that sturdy! Julie also creates darling M2M Matlida Jane necklaces…so very cute! Her thoughts on the necklace:

I recently added a new collection to my shop too, Treasures! This collection features children’s necklaces carefully designed with fun colors and high quality beads.  They look great in photos and are fun for special occasions (Easter basket idea anyone?). Some of my necklaces are made to match Matilda Jane clothing, which fills my daughter’s closet, alongside some Evy’s Tree hoodies of course. I also make custom necklaces to match a particular party theme, color pallet, or clothing outfit.  If you have an event in mind, I will create the perfect necklace to compliment it.

Julie has graciously offered to give our winner their choice of one Preschool OR Adult Tote and one Mini Tote, just like ours. Want to snag one before the giveaway ends? Julie has lowered her prices in her shop for the week of this giveaway ONLY! Head on over and snag something before they are gone!

We are going to try something new today…using Rafflecopter! What do you do? Log in with your facebook or your email to get started and it will walk you through the rest, super easy! 

There is one mandatory entry, and four extra entries. You have to do the first one before you can move on the rest which is: Visit Julie’s shop {HERE} and tell us what your favorite item is. You will also be able to like Julie’s facebook page HERE.

Thank you Julie for this amazing giveaway! xoxo

Interested in becoming an Evy’s Tree Sponsor? Email us! info@evystree.com


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Weekend Thoughts…Have I Really Gone?

Happy Saturday everyone! Hopefully you are having a wonderful and relaxed Saturday. Ours has been so nice. After Brandon taught a morning prayer class at our church, we met some good friends and my mom for Thai food. It was so yummy. And the kids had so much fun.

So Brandon and I have been doing quite a bit of talking about the Great Commission. Are you familiar with it? If not, the Great Commission is what Christians call several verses in the Bible from Mark 28:19-20:

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

The Great Commission is often preached, taught, encouraged by almost all Christian churches worldwide…but I have been wondering…do I REALLY do this? This is something my family has been evaluating in our personal lives for a while now, wondering, are we really “going”? Really, really going into the whole world, to all nations? Or are we just going to the church world only?

I have to be honest and say my fear is that we have gotten so used to ministering to the church that we have forgotten about those outside of the church who really need us to GO. 

I think I really started thinking about this when I was at a Bible study filled with first time church goers. I mean people who have NEVER, EVER been to a church of any kind, picked up a Bible or really understood who Jesus was. I think that sometimes it’s hard to believe that such people actually exist. Especially when we surround ourselves in a environment of people where just about everyone and anyone is a Christian. It’s easy to do that, you know? Easy to live amongst ourselves…our community that we as a church have worked so hard to build. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the community..it is important and NEEDED. I love our community. But I’m not sure that’s what Jesus was speaking of when He told us to GO. I’m not sure He was telling us to go to our community of Christians ONLY. I’m pretty sure he was telling us to go OUTSIDE of our Christian social circle as well.

At this Bible study I was surrounded by people who have never even opened a Bible. They had no idea what a “book” of the Bible was, what a “chapter” or a “verse” was. NO IDEA. Everything they heard was new to them, it was fresh. It was LIFE.

I can’t explain to you how amazing it was to watch these people soak up the Word like they did. I’m pretty sure a little bit of life was reaching into them. It brought me to tears to see faces go from hard to soft when hearing about the love of Christ. It was powerful.

So I guess the past couple of weeks I just keep thinking about “GO”. And I’m convicted. Because I’m not really sure I’ve really GONE. I mean, I love and teach and reach the community within. The Christians that come to our church. Those who walk through our doors. Many of them born and raised here. Sure, maybe they have never made a solid commitment and I help them do that, but they already know about Jesus and really are already interested and integrated. Although I need to reach those people too {and I adore doing it, so much so}, ministering to them only is an easy trap to fall into and stay into…it’s comfortable and non threatening, it’s where I want to be. But at what point is this “going” in my life become an external thing and not an internal thing? At what point am I really going to GO?

As I helped those brand new people struggle to flip through the Bible and find a verse…I realize now I am really going. As I step outside of my comfort zone and teach a Bible study to the down and out, I realize I have gone. When I look past the hardness, the outward, the “lack of”, I realize I have really gone. When I understand that this Great Commission is bigger than just reaching out to the church only…it goes way beyond the church and into the world…I realize I have really GONE.

I am pretty sure the reason why I have never gone isn’t for lack of compassion or desire to help, but mainly for lack of exposure. I have to be willing to put myself in the pathway of those who really need and have never heard the message I have to offer, get beyond the fear of sharing it, and be willing to stick in there with them as they grow. Because this growing process with be a lengthy. I have to be willing to go…and stay going.

Because in the end, if I am moved I can make a difference, “And of some have compassion, making a difference” Jude 1

Thanks for listening friends. Much love to you all. Shall we go? :)  xoxo