Recent Goodie Realizations | Version 10.15

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  1. My friend Rebekah introduced me to Canva the other week, and I can’t stop obsessing over it! My graphic design world just exploded.
  2. A while ago when dishwashing detergent was on my Target shopping list, I checked Cartwheel for any discounts, as I always do. As fate would have it, Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap in Radish scent popped up on the screen. Although I’d never have picked radish from the sound of it, I discovered that it’s my favorite soap scent ever.
  3. Decorating for fall can be so effortless, and straight-from-nature décor is my favorite. There’s a pumpkin wagon near my home that sells all the pumpkins, gourds, and Indian corn you could want for super cheap, and though we have no flower beds on our property and the pickings are limited here, I’ve gotten delightful armfuls of bittersweet berries and rosehip branches from friends this season.
  4. I’ve tried different concealers over the years and most recently had been going without since my foundation covers so well by itself, but I decided to give Stowaway a try, and seriously, their concealer is amazing. If you need a new one, I highly recommend theirs.
  5. Another thing I’ve been shopping around for and experiementing with has been facial cleanser. This month I decided to try this one from Young Living with my Essential Rewards points, and it really is fabulous. It’s pricey, but such a small amount is needed each time that I know it’s going to last me for months upon months.
  6. When we purchased my new iPhone last month, our mobile provider offered us such a great deal on an iPad Mini that we couldn’t pass it up. I searched high and low for the perfect classy-looking protectant case for it that would also hold it up for our Sunday afternoon Netflix binge-watching, and couldn’t be more pleased with this one that I finally found on Amazon.
  7. As far as wardrobe accessories go, this hat has been on my head almost more than on the rack this season. It goes with everything!
  8. I grew up with apple cider as a household staple since my dad grows his own apples and makes his own cider, but I’m falling in love with the stuff all over again this fall. Nothing like a steaming hot mug to warm a body up from head to toe!
  9. I’ve got chronically dry skin (well, except for my face, which obviously is hogging all the oil from the rest of my body) and as soon as the weather turns cool each year my knuckles crack and bleed if I’m not careful. Last year I discovered my magic solution: pure lanolin. It doesn’t smell so pretty, but I wear it at night with gloves on and wake up in brand-new skin. (Did you know they make touch-screen-compatible gloves these days? Yeah, pretty swell.)
  10. Favorite food this month? If you’ve spent any time in my home lately, you know I can’t get over these beef brats from Johnsonville. Oh, and they go quite well with the apple cider.
  11. And for aromatherapy currently, the blue ribbon goes to Young Living’s new Light the Fire essential oil blend. It’s the perfect alternative to those fall candles, if you’re wary of what’s in them.

What are you loving right now? If there’s a product you can’t stop raving about, do tell!

Don’t Miss Today’s Guest Post at Beautiful Undefined

I’ve had the privilege and great honor of writing a guest post for today about capsule wardrobe for one of my current blogger heroes, Alicia, over at Beautiful Undefined. Hop on over and check it out!

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Sneak peek | One shirt, three ways. Versatile pieces are key in a working capsule wardrobe!

My lovely cousin Alyssa styled and shot the photos for this post. We had so much fun together and I was thrilled with the ideas she brought to the shoot + her sharp eye.

Click the links and leave these ladies some love! ❤

Free Art on the Internet

Once I was describing to a friend where I’d gotten each of the pieces that compose the gallery wall in our master bedroom, and she asked me, “what do you mean, free printables?” So in case there are more of you who have yet to discover the world of royalty-free art on the World Wide Web, allow me to introduce you.

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Most of the artwork displayed in my home was found online, printed on my own cheap Epson printer, and matted and/or framed with yard sale/Goodwill finds. Pinterest can be a great resource for beautiful prints, but not all of them are free! (Printing a copy of someone’s art that they are selling on Etsy is stealing!) Instead, try Google searches using terms like “free printables,” “free wall art,” or “royalty-free art.” To help you get started, here are a few collections I think you might love.

I like to mat things with recycled cardboard cut from boxes that come containing things I’ve ordered online. And Goodwill is an excellent place to find beautiful frames for cheap. You can remove their original art or just cover it with your own. They’re easy to spray paint, or you can use Sharpies to give them a unique touch.

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// The hexagon corkboard tiles were from Target and it doesn’t look like they sell them anymore, but you can get square ones here. Target does, however, still have an awesome selection of push pins! //

If you’ve found another great resource for (legal) free artwork, post a link in the comments! What are other ways you’ve found to decorate your walls for cheap?

Abiart Creative | a Giveaway!

This giveway is now closed. Stay tuned for more opportunities to win good stuff in the future!


I mentioned last week that plans were in the works for The Realization of Good’s very first giveaway, and I hope you’ve been waiting with eager expectation! 😉 I’m a huge fan of giveaways, since I used to be one of those people who “never won anything”…but kept on entering away, and it eventually paid off. I now know that persistence is key, and that filling out those entries is actually worth it! The few giveaways I’ve won have felt like having an extra birthday…getting a package containing something awesome that I didn’t have to pay for in my mailbox is pretty great. (Maybe my love language is gifts.) Anyway, in this case, that’s working to your advantage, because now that I have a platform, I am looking forward to running my own giveaways regularly. It’s my turn to give back!

So I’ve been mulling over what to start with…I wanted it to be something extra special for this first run. I also wanted it to be something that would appeal to at least most of my readers, and I know each of you have varying interests. The cool thing about this prize pack is that it is a gift that “keeps on giving” — the winner will be able to use it to bless others!

Without further ado…from now until Sunday you have a chance to win twenty-five beautiful greeting cards designed by my friend Abi over at Abiart Creative.

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I feel so privileged to have grown to know, in the last decade or so, a handful of talented, artistic, budding entrepreneurs my own age, and it’s a huge honor for me to introduce Abi to you today. She’s one of those rockstars who is making her mark on the world in a big way at a young age, as the owner of her own graphic design company and designer of the fabulous Abiart Card line. Abi happened to be in Haiti visiting a friend when the 2010 earthquake occurred, and she came home with a passion for homeless and orphaned Haitians, which helped to birth the vision for Abiart Cards. (A portion of her sales support a school for girls in Passe Boi d’ormes, Haiti.)

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Letter writing is one of those golden things that people just don’t do much anymore — we stay in touch through social media and write an email if we need to. But when was the last time you mailed someone a card? Everyone loves getting fun mail, and it really doesn’t take more than a few minutes to pick out a pretty card and jot a few lines. Let’s bring back snail mail! This giveaway is designed to make it easy and fun for you to brighten someone’s day with a beautiful card filled with love from a sister, cousin, or friend.

I asked Abi to handpick 25 of her favorite designs for the giveaway. They’re made in two different shapes, tall and square, come with coordinating envelopes, and range in occasion from birthday to sympathy to friendship and more. She also included one of her silver markers for addressing the envelopes, and I’m throwing in a sheet of Vintage Rose forever stamps, because they’re pretty and will correspond so well with the gorgeous mail you’ll be sending out when you win these cards. 🙂

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Check out Abi’s website and Facebook page to see more of her lovely work. You can find her cards in a store near you or request a catalog by sending an email to abiartcreative@gmail.com.

To get your name in the drawing for the 25 cards & envelopes + marker + stamps, you must click here to visit the Rafflecopter giveaway page and follow the instructions on the screen. You get one entry each for: liking The Realization of Good on Facebook, liking Abiart Creative on Facebook, following me on Instagram (a great way to stay up-to-date with what’s happening around here), tweeting about the giveaway, and leaving a comment here on this post telling me about one of two things: either a giveaway that you won (or reeeally wish you’d won), or an item you’d definitely enter a giveaway for right now, because it’s the epitome of awesome. (I’d love to hear your suggestions for future drawings!) 🙂 You can do just one or all five of these things to get entered, and if you want, you can come back and do the tweeting once every day for extra entries.

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The giveaway will run for one week and close at midnight on Sunday. I’ll announce the winner here on the blog on Monday, so stay tuned!

A Summer Camp Formal Dinner

Caleb and I have had the privilege the last two years to take responsibility for creating the aesthetic for a formal dinner that takes place in the middle of the summer camp week for girls that is hosted by our church group’s youth ministry.

[You may have seen my vision board for this year’s event here when I mentioned it a week ago.]

I promised to share a few photos, so here they are, in full iPhone-quality glory. 😛

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Giving credit where credit is due…

  • I couldn’t have pulled this off without the help of my sweet husband, who: scouted out these lovely rustic barn boards weeks ago, arranged his work schedule for the week in such a way that he would be able to be involved in this project all day yesterday, did all the dirty work as we collected flowers and greens after a heavy rainstorm, hoisted the boards into and out of the car and onto and off of the tables and in general was just a huge help. I can always count on him to do the hard work to make my plans and ideas happen. Thanks, Babe!
  • Frieda Graber generously allowed us to pick from the bounty of her green thumb…all the foliage except the Queen Anne’s lace (which we pulled from the side of the road on our drive to the camp) was from her property.
  • Bree from Meadows of Hope allowed us to use those boards and offered her assistance as we transported them to Camp.
  • Camp’s Servant Team graciously tied all 125 or so of those silverware sets together for me, which saved me hours of time! They also helped to set tables and clear clutter in the dining hall just before the dinner began last evening.
  • All the paper products, including the linen-like paper tablecloths, were purchased from B&G Paper Products.

Total cost for décor for this event? Zero. Love that!

What has been or will be next on your summer event planning agenda? Where do you get your inspiration, and how do you stick to (or eliminate the need for) a budget? I’d love to hear your thoughts!