Archives for July 2014

Marriage, Rings, and Other Things


I think it’s nearly impossible for anyone in my house to surprise me, but my hubby, Merlon Devine, managed to do it effortlessly. After we ate dinner on my birthday (July 1), we reluctantly (so I thought) decided to order a dessert to share. The waiter came out with two plates, and placed the dessert assortment plate in front of me. On it there were three pink ribbons, and each was tying a piece of paper with a word (past, present, future) to a diamond band or ring!







The stereo speaker above our table was playing Merlon’s song he wrote to me, “Let’s Grow Old” from his new CD, Love Divine (you can get it at


Then he presented me with the ring set and asked me to renew our marriage vows for our 20 year anniversary in January. I had NO IDEA about any of it!!! I was blown away…in fact, I still am. What a wonderful surprise. He put a ring on it again!


I am crazy excited about this new ring! My very first wedding ring was quite modest. My husband purchased it from a pawn shop over twenty years ago. It was nice, and I am glad he was smart enough not to go in debt to buy me an expensive ring. I wore it proudly for ten years before getting my first ring upgrade. 

I want to encourage you ladies reading this, not to base the quality of your marriage on the quality of your ring. Carats don’t equal a great marriage! How many celebrities have you seen that had a huge engagement ring and an expensive wedding, only to have a marriage that lasted a few months? Obviously it’s not all about the ring, the dress, the cake, etc. 

My husband and I already knew we wanted to build our marriage on a solid foundation, Christ. We wanted the word of God to be the foundation for  how we treated each other. We have allowed it to be the standard in our marriage. While our marriage has still required work, as all marriages do, it has been a wonderful 19 years so far! Our Christian beliefs have made all the difference in our relationship. Yeah, I know a few non-Christian people that seem to have a good relationship from the outside. I also know some devout Christians that were not able to stay married for various reasons. I am not condemning either of the relationships I just described. I can only tell you what we have decided, and what has worked for us. Again, being a Christian isn’t all there is to having a great marriage. You have to have two people that are committed to do the work to maintain the union. Here are a few things that have helped us stay the course:

  • We listen to teachings on marriage and apply them to our lives (I highly recommend Marriage Made EZ teachings by Drs. Mike and Deedee Freeman. They keep it REAL and practical.) 
  • We attend marriage related events on a regular basis.
  • We talk to each other frequently (like two teenagers in love).
  • We communicate our issues and come to a resolution (easier said than done, but doable and so worth it).
  • We read books about marriage.
  • We go on dates often, during the daytime or nighttime. 
  • We laugh together often. 
  • We show affection to one another privately and publicly.
  • We attend church together and discuss what we learned from the service.

Here’s something from Pintrest that I thought would be good to share as well. 


I could go on and on, but I think you get what I am saying. There is work involved in maintaining the marriage, just as there is in maintaining anything.



Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. I pray it has been a blessing to you in some way or another. I always love to hear from you, so leave your comments on this blog please! 🙂




Organize My Closet


Maybe it was the unusual amount of free time I had on my hands. Maybe I just finally got fed up with the mess on top of my dresser. Maybe I no longer wanted to call out a search and rescue team to find the mate to the earring set I wanted to wear. Honestly, I am not sure exactly what hit me, but something did. It was time, well it was really way past time.

I went to one of my inspiration places, Pintrest, and searched for some creative ways to organize my jewelry. I found a blog called Merricks Art that was perfect for my situation. The blogger had a dresser in her closet, just as I do. She also had a similar amount of jewelry, and her necklaces were hanging above the dresser, just as mine are. Her solutions to my jewelry mess were quick and easy. I immediately jumped in my car and headed to my favorite store in the entire world, Homegoods. With a head full of inspiration and  just a little bit of cash, I found what I needed.

I loved the blogger’s use of plates and bowls to organize her items. I am certainly familiar with the dishware section of Homegoods, so I headed there first. I found a two-tier serving platter for $15. The shape and size was perfect for my dresser top, so into my basket it went. Using a serving platter in my closet was a divine idea!


Next, I headed to the closet organization section of the store. I found a clear drawer organizer tray for $20. Although I was not interested in putting it in my drawer (I like my jewelry on display), I knew the size would be perfect for my dresser surface. I also like that it was clear. I didn’t want a heavy fabric covered organizer. I really wanted to lighten things up a bit, and the clear organizer was ideal!


I always wanted a place to sit in my closet, so I could not pass up this storage ottoman. I instantly knew its size and height would work in my space. It was $40, so I grabbed it. I know it was not on my list of items I needed for jewelry organization, but I know how Homegoods can be. If you see an item you like, you better grab it right then. By their own admission, they are “never the same store twice.”


Finally, I needed some girly items. I spotted a linen scented candle in a gray and white animal print jar for $8. It was so fragrant! I thought that would be advantageous since my workout clothes can be fairly smelly in my closet (I know, ughhhh, right?) More than likely, I won’t be lighting a candle in my closet, but I am a candle fanatic, so I purchased it anyway. I will use it somewhere in my home eventually. I also wanted a photo frame. I found one with just the right amount of bling and femininity that suited my taste. I purchased it for around $8 as well. I didn’t want the frame to house a photo, but I wanted it to house an inspirational saying or scripture that I needed to be reminded of daily. I have found the closet, bathroom mirror, and the refrigerator serve as great places to put daily reminders. I chose Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing.” It reminds me to stay calm, settled, and patient as I await the answers to my prayers.




The former owners of our home left a wire tie rack installed above the spot where our dresser is housed. I use it to hold some of my necklaces (the others were in that mess on top of my dresser). The inspiration blogger used a jewelry pin board, but my tie rack served the same purpose so I didn’t make any changes there. I just straightened up the rack quite a bit.


A friend of mine gave me a much needed ring and jewelry holder a few days ago that I used. Then, a bowl I already owned (purchased from Homegoods, of course) served as a holder for all those little replacement buttons that come along with some of the clothing items I purchase. Does anyone ever get around to using those? I sure don’t, but I keep them on hand just in case I guess…


I got rid of old jewelry and mismatched pieces, then I organized everything that was left. I was very pleased with the final outcome. The process was fast and fabulous! That’s just the way I like it! I hope to conquer the rest of my closet soon. I will blog about it when I do.

I hope this blog inspires you to get organized. Remember to think creatively! You can use items for multiple purposes. Make your space beautiful with just a little cash and a lot of creativity!

I always love to hear from you. Comment to share your thoughts and creative closet organization ideas!

Think Pink!


I recently celebrated my birthday on July 1. For once in my life, I didn’t plan anything. My husband hinted he wanted us to go to dinner, so that was the only excuse I needed to find something cute to wear at the very last minute! I wanted to wear a pink dress. I knew that much already. I remembered a social media post from a nearby boutique, Breezyz, where she posted a pink dress I admired.

This pic perfectly shows the true colors of the dress. It's pink and purple.

This pic perfectly shows the true colors of the dress. It’s pink and purple. 

I loved it so much, I took a screen shot of it and kept it on my phone. I debated for a few days wether or not to buy it, if I could wear it, and on and on and on. Finally, on the day of my birthday, I called Breezyz to see if the dress was still in stock. It was, so my daughters and I stopped by there and I tried it on. The love was instant! After running around town to find the perfect pair of shoes (which I never found), I opted to wear the pink BCBG pumps I already owned. They were a spontaneous buy years ago from TJ Maxx or DSW…I think.


I was pleased with the outcome. Check out Breezyz online or make a visit to the store in Waldorf, Maryland!


 Another last minute decision was to buy the balloons. My daughters talked me into buying them after hearing me share this photo idea that inspired me. A friend of mine took a pic with a balloon bouquet on her birthday. It was so CUTE! So I bought the balloons. All my last minute ideas panned out really well! I was reminded to stop second guessing myself and go after what I really want. It just may…no, it will work out beautifully!


Happy Birthday to meeeee!