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Jun 30, 2015

Floral Workshop with The Flower Press


On Saturday, Natalie, Amanda (AJ's sister), and I headed to Carlisle, PA to attend a floral arranging workshop at Harmony Society (if you're ever in Carlisle, be sure to stop in and see Amber!  They've got lots of fun clothing, yarn, and gifts, and the building is just cool!).  

The class was taught by some of our dear friends and the ladies behind The Flower Press, a small business that specializes in florals and paper goods.  Courtney, Britney, and their mom, Sherry are all creative and beautiful women of God who I've had the pleasure of getting to know over the past couple of years through our connection at church (though it really does feel like I've known them for forever!).  They also are good friends of AJ's family, so I'm excited to know that our relationship will always remain close with that connection!  

When I say that these three are creative, it's kind of an understatement.  They're also the hosts of the annual Christmas gift-wrapping party and lend their creative touch to things at church around holidays.  Britney's hand-made wedding was one of the most gorgeous I've ever been to, and I love visiting their homes to see all of the pretty decor that they have!  Besides just being creative, they're such good friends, so when we heard that they were teaching this workshop, it was an easy decision to attend!  

Court, Brit, & Sherry instructed about a dozen of us on the elements of a good floral arrangement, and then set us free to create our own.  After a few busy weeks at work, a morning spent creating and enjoying the company of friends was just what my heart needed.  I loved learning more about florals and even better, having a pretty arrangement to enjoy on my desk at home for a while!


Court, Sherry, & Brit had so many beautiful florals to choose from!  Amongst my favorite flowers are Peonies, and they totally stole the show...but I loved the selection of foliage and fill flowers that they had for us to incorporate.  From soft textural elements like Lamb's Ear to the wispiness of Smokebush, it was great getting to play with so many diverse elements!



Courtney is such a great teacher...she and Sherry and Britney team taught the workshop, and Court demonstrated constructing an arrangement for us.  Britney and Sherry helped me put my wedding bouquet together a few weeks ago, so I've been learning lots about florals from these ladies lately!  I've also been super inspired to incorporate more florals into my own living space.    



Above is the beginnings of my arrangement and below is the same view of the finished product...it was fun to add and rearrange as it took shape!  We're doing silk florals for the bouquets and boutonnieres for our wedding, so working with fresh florals was a new ballgame for me.  I have gotten used to being able to bend and move and place silk stems and have them stay where I put them, which is obviously not the case with fresh greenery, so it was a little bit of a challenge to adjust to, but really fun nonetheless!




I am so proud of my final arrangement!  It's the perfect accent to my room for summer and I love the cement pot that I got to bring home with me to house it in.  All of the larger elements like the Peonies and Carnations (who knew I could actually like carnations?!) paired with the twiggy foliage and softer elements like the Lamb's Ear and Amaranthus, and the berries made for a perfect floral arrangement and accent to my workspace!  I'd say it was a pretty good first attempt at fresh florals!





I learned so much about working with fresh florals at The Flower Press's workshop!  I'm so inspired to continue utilizing florals in my home and to even rearrange and repurpose elements in any bouquet that I pick up or receive.  I love that wild, organic elements are on trend right now...it's such a pretty look and I love that the imperfections are celebrated...it makes arranging much easier!

DO YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH FLORALS?  WOULD YOU TRY A FLORAL WORKSHOP LIKE THIS?  

Be sure to check out The Flower Press on Facebook!  Courtney is available for events and weddings!

Jun 29, 2015

Wedding Work Nights



I love being creative and so when it came to wedding decor, I didn't hesitate when I decided to do just about everything myself.  From making my own mercury glass to doing all of my own calligraphy for the nearly-100 invitations we're sending out to staining and hand lettering 36 boards for centerpieces to making our favors by hand, there's a lot of DIY going on in the Gettis house.  If wedding planning was like Girl Scouts, I'm pretty sure I'd get the DIY Bride badge.  

But I've learned in these past few months that I can't do everything myself.  It's just too much and though wedding planning has been a relatively stress-free process, I have started to get a little nervous when I look at the things I still need to check off of my to-do list and realize that we've only got two short months to go until the big day.  Luckily, I have a great group of girls who will be standing up beside me on that day who have offered to lend a hand in whatever way I need, plus a really supportive network of family and friends!

If my mom taught me anything, it's that you don't let people inside your front door without being prepared to feed them (can you tell that we're Italian?).  While I haven't yet perfected her prowess in the kitchen, I do appreciate the art of being a good hostess and having food on hand to feed your guests, particularly in those impromptu moments when I haven't planned ahead enough!  One of my new favorites to have on hand is DIGIORNO Pizzeria!™ Thin Pizzas!  

I don't often reach for frozen pizza at the grocery store, but I have to tell you...this one takes the cake!  It definitely tastes as good as if I made it myself, without any of the prep and guess work that goes into making pizza at home (I never know how to find the perfect sauce-to-cheese ratio!). 

It was quick to prep (only took about 15-20 minutes in the oven) and the preservative-free crust is delicious.  These DIGIORNO Pizzeria!™ Thin Pizzas are also topped with real cheese, premium meats, and delicious veggies, and come in four different varieties...Supreme Speciale, Primo Pepperoni, Margherita (my fave!), and Spinach & Mushroom.  With so many different options to choose from, having a few on hand is sure to please anyone who walks through your door.  (Plus, if you try DIGIORNO Pizzeria!™ Thin Pizzas and don't like them, you can visit Digiorno.com for a info on how to receive a refund...so grabbing a few of these next time you're at the store is a no-brainer!)

I love getting to spend time with my bridesmaids and family as I share this exciting season of life with them, and I'm so blessed to have such awesome people surrounding me!  Even if it's just having someone keep me company while I work on wedding stuff, or just having someone over to watch a movie and take a break from all of the craziness of wedding planning, it's always great to spend time with the people that I love!  Keeping a few DIGIORNO Pizzeria!™ Thin Pizzas in my freezer for those impromptu moments and meet-ups is a great way to be hospitable and have good, quality food that's quick and easy to prepare to feed my guests!






HAVE YOU TRIED OUT ONE OF DIGIORNO'S NEW PIZZERIA!™ THIN PIZZAS?  PICK ONE UP NEXT TIME YOU GROCERY SHOP, AND THEN BE SURE TO VISIT DIGIORNO ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT YOU THINK USING THE HASHTAG #YOUBETHEJUDGE.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Jun 25, 2015

The Guys Behind the Blog // June Edition


It's that time again!  It's really hard for me to believe that we're at the end of another month. June has been such a crazy month, with so many unexpected (and frankly, unwelcome) twists and turns, that it seems like it just flew by.  I'm choosing to believe that July will hold only the best things for our family and church community!

It's also hard to believe that AJ and I will be getting married in just two months!  As our day gets closer, its getting harder and harder to be apart, but the countdown is on and I couldn't be more excited!

I love when AJ takes over the blog...this is one of my favorite posts every month, and his answers this month made me laugh! Check them out below, and then go check out Laura's post as well!



1 // What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on? 
Well, my family is obsessed with Disney and we go to Disney World every few years. The last time that we went there was probably my favorite vacation ever. It’s hard not to love being in Disney World and staying at one of their resorts to begin with, but also my, then, girlfriend came down and tried to surprise me. It didn’t work because I am all knowing, but I appreciated the attempt and I still love her. … It was Betsy by the way…

2 // If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? 
This is the type of question that, depending on the day, merits a different answer from me. Today, I would say I want to be in Arizona. Or just somewhere like that. Where it’s warm, but not awfully humid.. because right now Boston is like a sauna and I hate it the moist. See what I did there? …

3 // Are there any summer traditions that you have or would like to start? (think things like big picnics, summer activities, bonfires, or day trips!) 
I would love to make frequent beach trips a thing… Not like staying over night, but just going down for a Saturday and coming back… cuz that’s much cheaper :) I would also want to start doing bonfires once a week because I LOVE bonfires! … If it were legal to do beach bonfires on the east coast that would be even better!!

4 // The 4th of July is coming up…what’s a must-have picnic or BBQ food for you? 
Oh man. This question is making me hungry as I type… The one thing that is a must have at a 4th of July BBQ is my mom’s Strawberry Pretzel Dessert. What it lacks in a creative name, it makes up for in pure deliciousness and joy! It’s basically what it sounds like… Strawberry and Jello on top with some sort of cool whip concoction underneath and crushed pretzels on the bottom. PURE. JOY.

5 // Think about your ideal vacation…are you in a cozy cabin, camping in a tent, or hanging in a hotel? 
Why would you even suggest camping?? Are you kidding me?? That’s not a vacation .. that’s work … and also bugs.. and I’m not about bugs.. or bears. I would just want to be somewhere warm and awesome and in a hotel or cabin or somewhere where there aren’t many people. :)
______________________________________

And that's it, folks...June's Guys Behind the Blog!  I'm really glad that the best vacation he's ever taken was the one I surprised him on!  But I'm also still a little bummed (3 years later) that he figured it all out...I mean...I flew all the way to Florida!  Sheesh.  He's tough to surprise...though I did successfully fly to Boston and surprise him last October, so I'll take it!

This month's link-up is open through next Friday, July 3rd, so join in with us any time!  I hope you will consider joining us for this month's link-up and sharing your significant other with us. 

July's Guys Behind the Blog is all about food! Yum, what guy wouldn't be on board for that? It is scheduled for Thursday, July 30th and will stay open through Friday, August 7th. If you want to get a head start, here are the questions for next month:


1 // What is your all time favorite food?
2 // Who is the cook between you and your significant other?
3 // What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?
4 // Are there any foods that you absolutely detest?
5 // What is your favorite local, little-known, or hole in the wall place to eat?

Now add your link below and check out some of the other Guys Behind the Blogs!

Jun 23, 2015

Curating a Stationary Collection


One of my favorite things to do is to write letters to a friend.  Because I went to college out of state, I ended up with friends who are all over the country.  I love sending those girls snail mail, but what made me realize my love of mail even more was when AJ moved to Massachusetts.  

I also don't think there's anything better than finding a hand-written note waiting in the mail.  There's just something so personal and intentional about a notecard or letter in the mail.  Knowing that someone took the time to write a note and mail it just means a lot to me!

I love sending AJ cards!  For Valentine's Day last year, I sent him one card every day in February leading up to the holiday.  However, that's probably one of the only times in my life that sending snail mail was a carefully planned act.  Typically, the inspiration to send someone a note is random and comes late at night.  As much as I love sending cards, I don't necessarily love going to the store and standing in the card aisle trying to find the perfect one.  I'm just too indecisive!

So, something that I've found to be incredibly important (and helpful), is having a box of notecards stuffed into my desk for those moments when the mood to write a letter strikes!  I'm a bit of a stationary hoarder, so I'm constantly picking up packs of notecards, but I find that they come in handy!  Having a stash of blank notecards to grab from is such a great tool to have at your fingertips.





Here are some tips for curating your own stationary collection!

1 // Have some variety.  It's good to have some "Thank You" notes, but remember that just plain old blank notecards with a pretty design on them are totally versatile!  I use blank notecards far more than I use anything "specific," and I like having a number of designs to choose from when I want to send someone a letter!

2 // Don't forget the extras.  Washi tape, pretty stamps, stickers are all extras that make snail mail even more fun!  Don't just settle for the run-of-the-mill flag Forever stamps, ask your local post office to see some of the special edition or decorative stamps that they have.  They cost the same amount, but bring something extra to your mail!

3 // Shop smart.  My favorite places to look for stationary are in the dollar spot at Target, the dollar/sale section at Michaels, and at places like Marshalls.  You can also often find boxes of cards on the end caps at Target and in stationary aisles on sale, but I never pay more than $3-4 for a box of notecards that are going into my stationary collection!  I do like to indulge in a really pretty letterpress card when I find one I really love at a boutique, but for my "on-hand" stationary, I keep a load of the cheap stuff on hand!


DO YOU HAVE A STATIONARY COLLECTION?  WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO PICK UP NOTECARDS?

Jun 18, 2015

Summer Cleaning & Redecorating Tips


Summer is one of my favorite seasons to organize and redecorate my living space, and this summer is more important than others!  AJ will be done with school on August 14 and we'll be getting married on August 28, and before then, I need to figure out what of my stuff I'm keeping and what I'll be giving up as we merge our lives together.

Since AJ and I plan to move within the next year or so, and we don't have a full timeline of when that will be happening yet, our plan for the fall is to live with my parents so that we don't get stuck in a lease before we're ready.  We'll be able to occupy the entire second floor of my parent's house, but before we're ready to do that, I've got some major cleaning to do!

So, with that task ahead, here are my tips for tackling summer cleaning and organizing, and getting your space refreshed and revitalized!  While these tips are timely for summer, they really are my go-to's for all year round!


1 // Clean it before you clean out!
Summer is a great time to open your windows and get some fresh air through your space.  But I also think it's a great time to wipe down all of the surfaces in your home and brush off the dust from the winter and spring months.  One of my all-time favorite cleaning products is Pledge Multi Surface because of it's versatility!  I use it on all of my wood surfaces (including windowsills and even baseboards) and it's pH-balanced formula means that it's worry-free when it comes to clouding up or stripping away the finish on your surfaces.  Pledge Multi Surface also leaves surfaces looking radiant and smells great thanks to having no harsh chemical smells!

2 // Transition
I love making more space in my closet by switching out some of my winter wardrobe to make room for my lighter, summer wear.  I box up all of my heavy scarves and sweaters and put them in storage until the fall.  The same can be done with your decor...go buy some storage bins and cut down the clutter!

3 // Rearrange
AJ's grandmother just bought us some living room furniture and that meant I needed to do some major re-arranging in my living space to make room for it.  Rearranging your room can bring fresh life to your decor.  

4 // Bring life in
There isn't a more perfect season for introducing some greenery into your decor and living spaces!  Some of my favorite plants, of course, are my succulents, but even just going out and cutting some fresh wildflowers is a great way to bring fresh beauty to a room.  If you bring in some potted plants now, they'll also keep you happy long after the summer when the weather turns cold again.

5 // Clean again!
Ok, I know that no one really likes to clean (unless you're Monica Gellar), but I firmly believe that cleaning before and after you majorly rearrange or redecorate is really helpful...it helps ensures that the things you're packing up are clean before you put them in storage, and that your surfaces are clean and ready for new decor, and then cleaning after ensures that everything looks great for you to enjoy! There's nothing better than finishing up a decor project and getting to sit back and enjoy your hard work!





HOW DO YOU DECORATE FOR SUMMER?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Jun 17, 2015

A Little Bit Patriotic


Every time a national holiday comes around, I'm always at a loss for what to wear.  It's not that I don't like patriotic clothing (I walked through Old Navy the other day and almost bought about 5 items with the American flag all over them), but I just kind of forget to make sure I have some of those pieces in my closet when the opportune moment to wear them arises.  

Every year, a family from our church throws this big, all-day, 4th of July picnic and every year, I stand in my closet scrambling for some red, white, and blue.  

But this year, I resolved to have some patriotic clothing for when the 4th arrives, and I was determined to find something cute that I could also wear at other times of the year!  When I found this blouse, I was smitten.  I'm super into flowy tops this days, so it was a perfect choice, and the pretty, yet still somewhat subtle patriotic feel of the top seemed like it would be a great choice!

I'm excited that when the 4th of July comes around this year...I'll be ready!








OUTFIT DETAILS // 
Jeans // GAP
Blouse // Seven
Sunglasses // Target
Watch // Betsey Johnson
Bracelet // Kate Spade

Jun 16, 2015

When You Walk Through the Fire...


To say the past week has been hard is an understatement. (If you missed my news last week, then click here to read.) Part of my job at GT is helping to manage the church's social media accounts, and this past week has been the most intense season of work I've ever experienced.

Yesterday, before I left the office, I was looking for a Scripture verse to schedule for our Facebook page this morning and came across Isaiah 43:2: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

On Sunday, our executive Pastor, Scott, took the GT stage and preached a message about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He talked about how when we go through fires, we don't have to stand along, we don't have to come out smelling like smoke, and that God shows up in new ways. So when I found the verse in Isaiah, it was an obvious choice for putting out there to our church body.

But as I reflected on that verse, something occurred to me. It doesn't say "if you walk through the fire," it says when.

It's not if you face tragedy, it's when.
It's not if you experience pain, it's when.

God isn't surprised by our tragedy.  He's not surprised by our pain or our hurt.  In fact, his Word says that we will walk through the fire, we will pass through the river.

I don't believe that fires that we walk through are of God.  Our world is broken as a result of the fall, and so while we tarry to redeem a fallen Creation to it's Creator, the reality is that bad things happen.  People make bad choices and there are consequences for those decisions, and the fact that we live in a fallen world means that we aren't always spared hardship and heartbreak. God doesn't make those bad things happen, but He does work through them to bring healing and hope.

My life over the past two years has been nothing short of a roller coaster.  Between two cancer diagnosis's, health issues with both of my grandmothers, losing AJ's grandfather, a long distance relationship, and now everything that's happened with my church, there have been days when I've asked God when I get to step out of the flames.

But from time to time I realize that the God who promises to be with us in Isaiah 43, and who stood amongst the flames with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3, is the same God who will see us through even the greatest of tragedies.

And He does see us through.  Isaiah 43 doesn't say "when you stand in the waters" or "when you hang out in the fire," it says through.  We don't have to stay in the rivers and fires of our lives.  We have to carry on and walk through.

God doesn't promise easy.  He doesn't promise safe, or pain-free, or simple.  But He promises to be there in the good times and the bad, and He promises to be with us and see us through.

We will face hardship.  There will be fires to walk through.  There will be rivers to pass through and there will be times when we feel like the flood waters are about to pull us under.  But God promises to be there, to preserve us, and to not allow the flames to set us ablaze.

________________________________________

It feels disingenuous of me to end this post without talking about the hope we have in Jesus. The Bible is filled with the promises of God, and one of the greatest promises any of us can put our hope in is the eternal life found through faith in Christ. If you're reading this post, and you're not sure what you believe or you're walking through a fire right now and you need some hope, then, friend, I can't begin to describe to you how great God's love is for you. He wants to stand in that fire with you and carry you through. 

Personally, I'm not sure how I would have made it through the past two years without my relationship with God. And I want you to know that relationship, too. If you'd like to start that relationship, but aren't sure how, I'm happy to tell you that it's simple.  God is fully accessible to us through prayer, and all it takes is stopping, right now, to pray and tell Him about your belief in Him, your desire to know Him more, and your recognition that you're in need of a Savior. (Let me tell you a secret...we all are!) 

Prayer doesn't have to be this mysterious thing, it's a conversation, so just talk to Him. If you pray that prayer today and you're looking for more direction, please email me at betsygettis@gmail.com because I would love to talk with you more about your decision!  It's the most important one you'll ever make, and I'd be thrilled to walk through that with you.

Jun 11, 2015

5 Easy Skincare Tips to Fit Into Your Morning Routine

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 
#BioreStripDown #CollectiveBias


We're all busy.  As I wrote last week, I rarely schedule time to take care of myself.  I don't know about you, but this girl doesn't always have times for elaborate skincare treatments and spa days (though I certainly wouldn't say no to one!).

When it comes to skincare, I need easy, quick things that I can incorporate into what I'm already doing.  As a girl who washes my face while I'm in the shower and does my makeup on the way to work, I like when I get the opportunity to do a mask or something extra for my skin, but I can't always afford tons of extra time.

I've found that the easiest way to give my skin a little extra pampering is to work things into my morning routine, so here are five things that you can add to your morning routine to give your skin little pampering!


1.  COCONUT OIL IN YOUR HAIR // 
If you haven't discovered the many wonders of coconut oil yet, then stop what you're doing and go get some asap.  Coconut oil is great for moisturizing and softening your hair, among other things, and I love rubbing some into my hair about 10 minutes before I hop in the shower!

2.  STRAWBERRIES ON YOUR TEETH // 
For a tasty and natural way to whiten teeth, mash up some strawberries and mix it with baking soda.  Smear the mixture on your teeth for a little whitening boost!  This is another great thing to do before you hop in the shower!

3.  EXFOLIATE //
Exfoliating is so important for keeping your skin healthy!  A mixture of brown sugar and lemon is one of my favorite exfoliators, and I love rubbing that mixture into places where dry skin surfaces, like elbows, hands, and feet!

4.  MOISTURIZE // 
I don't always like putting lotion on my body in the warm summer months, but it's so important!  Moisturizing is key to healthy, happy skin, so make sure you work this into your morning routine.

5.  MASK IT! // 
One of my favorite ways to pamper myself a little bit is with a mask, and one of my favorite masks is the Bioré® Self Heating One Minute Mask.  The fact that "one minute" is in the product's name should tell you a lot...it feels awesome on your skin and does what it says in just one minute and heats on contact, so it's a cinch to work into your routine!  It is made with natural charcoal, which is a great ingredient for drawing out impurities that are trapped deep-down in your skin.  I love how it opens your pores and removes pore-clogging dirt and oil!




You can find the Bioré® Self Heating One Minute Mask, as well as other Bioré® products, like the Bioré® Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser and the Bioré® Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strip (another one of my faves!) at Target!  And until June 20th, you can get a $5 Target gift card with the purchase of three Bioré® products with Cartwheel.





WHICH OF THESE BIORE® PRODUCTS WOULD YOU INCORPORATE INTO YOUR MORNING ROUTINE?

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