Life Lessons From The Garden: Finding Your Quiet Place

Hello Wonderful People!

Have you ever noticed that the world is so noisy today? Everywhere we turn, we are faced with fake news stories, television reality shows, and viral social media videos. The list goes on and on (and on). With so much happening, it is hard to get rid of the noise. Televisions are constantly on, smart phones are at the ready and the people around you are always saying something. Have you also noticed that most of the time what we are hearing is not positive and it does us no good?

With so much going on at one time, it is important that you find that quiet place where you can have some time devoted just to you and what is important to you. It could be time spent with your spouse talking about your relationship. We need that quiet time with the Lord each an everyday. Or it could be time thinking about self-improvement. Whatever you do in your quiet time, it is important that you make the time for it. For my wife and me, we believe that it is important that we turn off the television, the computer and the smart phones about an hour before going to bed. This is time when we talk, read or listen to the Bible. This is something that we try to do each night and are working on making that happen.

Finding Your Quiet Place

Ironically, for me the place where I find the quietest place is in the yard while I am cutting the grass. Oddly enough, the roar of the lawnmower’s engine drowns out the world’s distractions and I can focus my attention on me. I am talking to God about what is going on, mediating on decisions that I have to make or thinking about how I can make adjustments to my life to improve my life. For that hour when I am cutting the grass, the outside world is a million miles away and I am at peace.

The Quiet Place

Where is your quiet place? Do you even have one? What do you do when you there? Let me know in the comments section below.

Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015 (Exhibition at the St. Louis Art Museum)

Hello Beautiful People,

My hubby and I saw a really cool exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum, and the last day to see it is Sunday, September 17th.

Often when you think of fashion exhibitions, you think of women’s fashion – haute couture dresses, free-flowing ballgowns and the like. However with Reigning Men, menswear takes the stage with this exhibition that was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Drawing on its own collection and from generous loans from private collectors, the exhibition examines men’s fashion from 1715 to 2015, featuring more than 150 pieces including zoot suits, military uniforms, and swimming suits. I have always been fascinated by the changes in men’s fashion, I even wrote my masters thesis on the subject. When I heard that this exhibition was coming to the Gateway City, I eagerly anticipated the opportunity to see it.

Inside Exhibit, Picture taken without Flash

I had requested for press pictures to include in this review; but I never received them from the Museum. It was awesome that we could take my own photographs, as long as I didn’t use a flash.

Excerpt of Exhibit from the St. Louis Art Museum as you enter.

Picture taken without flash at SLAM

Trailer about the exhibit

One of my favorites of the exhibit is Oscar Wilde in a smoking jacket. The richness of the velvet looks regal, but comfy; and transcends the time period that he would have worn it.

Oscar Wilde in smoking jacket Picture taken without flash at SLAM

The exhibit had so much apparel to showcase, I could of stayed there for hours to read the label each label. Do you see the picture below with the traditional Tuxedo jacket with tails and the non-traditional Tuxedo that was donated by Cameron Silver (who sells Halston apparel on QVC) with the tails in the back and in the front where the cummerbund would be. It almost looks like an elaborate apron that would have been worn by a maitre’ d at a restaurant or servant working in an English country manor. To see this garment up close was quite the treat.

Dapper in Tails Picture taken without flash at SLAM

These fur coats remind me so much of photographs that I have seen of my grandfather in his sporty car in the 1950s. Wearing fur was seen as a status symbol and showed off your wealth. I can only imagine how heavy it would have been to wear one of these jackets.

Image from the Exhibit –  Picture taken without flash at SLAM


Here is another image from the exhibit – is a look at the aristocratic uniforms and clothing of the 18th Century.

PIcture from the Exhibit

My hubby and I enjoyed seeing the many styles of men’s clothing from the last three hundred years. We ended the experience with a selfie.

J & T taking selfie at the St. Louis Art Museum

If you have not had a chance to see the exhibition and you are in the St. Louis area, please stop by the St. Louis Art Museum to see Reigning Men.
The exhibit had a short run and I am glad we were able to see it before it closed. If you are unable to make it, you can also see the virtual exhibition by clicking here or purchase an exhibit catalogue which includes photographs and descriptions of each piece from the exhibition.

The Verdict

Hello Beautiful People,

St. Louis, Missouri is experiencing some tough times; so all I can say is I continue to pray for this city and the world. Right now, I am listening to U2 on my Bose while I am writing this. My husband had surprised me with tickets to the U2 concert here in the Gateway City. It was meant to be a part of our 18th wedding anniversary celebration. The concert was suppose to be tonight; but was canceled this morning. On Friday, a local judge ruled a St. Louis Police Officer not guilty in a murder trial of a local man. Protests and unrest spread throughout the city, including the destruction of several buildings and the even the Mayor’s home. I am not bummed at all about the concert, considering the Police Force was not able to provide adequate security for the concert.

Two U2 Tickets

Statement from U2
“Live Nation and U2 regrettably announce their St. Louis show scheduled for tonight, September 16, 2017 has been cancelled. 
“We have been informed by the St. Louis Police Department that they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience as would be expected for an event of this size. 
We have also been informed that local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity. 
In light of this information, we cannot in good conscience risk our fans’ safety by proceeding with tonight’s concert. As much as we regret having to cancel, we feel it is the only acceptable course of action in the current environment.” – Live Nation and U2
Fans who purchased tickets online will receive a refund on the credit card tickets were ordered on.  Refunds for non-internet purchases will be available starting Monday at 10am at point of purchase.”  Statement from

I know there is anger over the recent decision; but breaking windows at the public library and spray painting the mayors’ home is not peaceful protests. I see images of protestors giving peaceful demonstrations. I see images of tear gas in the air and people running in the streets. I am saddened by this and the way for therapy is for me to pray and write.

The St. Louis I know is a big city with a down home feel and I know that is stained right now.
My head is all over the place but my pastor is so true that the way to defeat violence is on our knees in prayer.

There’s a lot of fear in the air. Psalm 91 keeps coming up in my head and it is a prayer that my husband and I stand on everyday.

Psalm 91Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB)

 1 He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, He is my hope and my fortress: my God; in him will I secure myself.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler and from the mortal pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings thou shalt be secure: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flies by day,

nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday.

Thousands shall fall at thy side and ten thousands at thy right hand, but it shall not come near thee.

Surely with thine eyes thou shalt behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because thou hast made the LORD, who is my hope, even the most High, thy habitation,

10 no evil shall befall thee, neither shall any plague come near thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands lest thy foot stumble against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he has set his will upon me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high because he has known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and glorify him.

16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my saving health.

Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB) Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2010 by Life Sentence Publishing, Inc.

We can always show love and keep that flow going each day.
The Joyce Meyer Calendar quote for the day.
“Our heavenly Father wants us to know that we are his precious little ones – His children – and that when we come to Him as such, we show faith in Him which releases Him to care for us.”

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 1 John 3:1 KJV

Please stand in agreement with me for peace in St. Louis.

GoPro Hero 5 (Product Review)

Hello Wonderful People!

I pray that your week has been filled with many wonderful blessings.

Do you find yourself looking for that one camera that you can use for all of your photographic needs?
Are you frustrated your smart phone camera cannot get the quality photos you need?
Do you need a high-quality video recorder; but you don’t want to carry a bulky device?
Are you looking for a camera to capture those moments when holding a device is not an option?

Bubbling With Elegance And Grace recently had an opportunity to try the GoPro Hero 5, courtesy of Verizon Wireless. After trying this tiny, but mighty multi-purpose camera; I would recommend if you answered yes to any of the questions above.

The GoPro Hero 5 is the latest GoPro to hit the market and it is by far the best one.

The GoPro Hero 5 measures only 1.26inches x 2.44inches x 1.75 inches; and weighs only 4.13 ounces. It is small enough to fit into your pocket or in your handbag and can easily be taken on the go with you. With limited buttons on the camera itself, it offers touch screen and voice commands to easily change the settings. Video options include changing the frame per second and resolution, with an option for 4K. The camera features time-lapse photography and micro-burst photo shoot with 30 images per second — all at 12MP. Additional accessories can be purchased that allows you to attach the camera to helmet, a bicycle or your dashboard; if you want to capture those action moments of your life. It is waterproof down to 33 feet of water if that action means going under water.

The camera retails for $399.99 on the Verizon website.
While that price may be higher than what you are typically would spend for a camera, think about what you are getting for that price. You are getting a fully-functioning camera that can capture your memories in high-resolution. You can spend twice as much for a camera on your smart phone; but the quality will only be half as good.
You are getting a video recorder that can be used to capture the hummingbirds in your backyard; or to record your next YouTube video. With resolution capacity at 4K, the GoPro Hero 5 keeps up with the current standards for video recording devices.

My latest YouTube video recorded with the GoPro Hero 5.

I recommend the GoPro Hero 5 to anyone who desires to have quality photographs and videos. This device fits into all facets of your life with its many options and features. I suggest you spend time to learn what those features are and how to incorporate them into your photographic needs. The more you know about what is packed into this tiny device and what it is capable of doing, you will not be disappointed with the GoPro Hero 5.

FTC Disclaimer:
Verizon Wireless provided Bubbling With Elegance And Grace with the GoPro Hero 5 for thirty days to write this honest opinion. At the end of the thirty days, we returned the camera back to Verizon Wireless. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this review. All opinions are express in the review are own.

The Four Cs Of Professional Diamond Selection

What Are The Four Cs By Which Diamonds Are Judged?

Diamond merchants and jewellers judge diamonds by four criteria: carat; colour; clarity; and cut. These are known as the Four Cs, and anyone wishing to buy diamonds to be mounted in jewellery should be aware of these.

Image by Campbell Muir via Flickr

Carat: The Weight Of The Diamond

Carats are the unit of weight used for diamonds. The word derives from carob, going back to times when old fashioned scales were used, carob seeds were a uniform weight and this became how diamonds were weighed. One carat is divided into one hundred points, so a diamond merchant could call a .50 carat diamond “a fifty pointer” or “a half carat”. The letters TW after a weight in carats means Total Weight, which is the combined weight of the smaller diamonds surrounding a central stone. There is a magic about a carat. A diamond of just over one carat will cost a lot more than a diamond of, say, .94 carats. To the untrained eye there will appear no significant difference in size, but the buyer pays for that whole number magic. There is nothing wrong with smaller stones; they just don’t have the cachet of the full carat.

Colour: The Lustre Of The Diamond

Diamonds are a naturally occurring stone and very few are totally colourless. The GIA grades diamonds on a scale ranging from virtually colourless to noticeably yellow. Traditionally, the whiter (or less coloured) a diamond is, the higher its price. Coloured diamonds suit some tastes, and currently blue, champagne, cognac, and yellow diamonds are sought after. Pink Argyle diamonds are also highly prized for bridal sets. When judging diamonds for colour, ask to see a Master Set of CZs, stones typifying the colour range, and compare the diamonds you are perusing with them.

Clarity: The Brilliance Of The Diamond

Diamonds contain flaws to some degree. Flaws in the stone are termed inclusions; flaws on the stone’s surface are blemishes. Costlier diamonds have fewer inclusions or inclusions so small as to be invisible to the naked eye. Inclusions can cause parts of the diamond to appear cloudy or milky. There is a GIA scale for clarity, have one to hand, and a magnifying glass when inspecting diamonds. Reputable jewellers should offer you these, so, if you are looking for diamonds in Canada, purchase from trusted diamond merchants in Toronto.

Cut: The Magic That Releases The Diamond’s Lustre And Brilliance

The art of the diamond cutter is to take a stone and work facets and planes into it to allow its colour to stand out, and its naturally light refracting properties to be released with the brilliance jewellers call fire. The most frequently seen cut for diamonds is the round brilliant. There are a number of other cuts, called fancy cuts. Among these, there are styles to suit a wide range of tastes. Lovers of Art Deco will be drawn to Emerald or Asscher cuts. Romantics may find the Heart shaped brilliant cut speaks best for them. Pear shaped diamonds have become popular with celebs and are often seen worn on red carpets. Princess, Oval, and Marquise cut diamonds are known or their fire and brilliance. When you are looking to buy diamonds, shape, and cut are the factors which will be most immediately apparent to you.

Whenever you plan on buying diamond jewellery or loose diamonds, make sure to remember the points we’ve discussed.

Bible Verse of the Day: Proverbs 18:22

Hello Wonderful People!

This week my wife and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary.
18 wonderful years! Praise God!!

I am often reminded of this scripture in Proverbs, especially now as we remember our wedding. He who finds a wife, finds a good thing; and obtains favor from the Lord!

Proverbs 18:22 (NKJV) – created with YouVersion

When I found my wife, it definitely was a good thing and it changed my life forever. Before meeting my wife, I thought I was destined to be single and have a lonely and miserable life. Up to that time, that described my life precisely. But when she walked in my life, I began to see life differently and I felt it now had purpose. The joy that she brings me is because we share many things in common, including hiking, cooking, music and movies. I look forward to what each day has to offer because I know I have an amazing wife to share it with.

Because I have my wonderful wife, I can say that the favor of God is on my life. Before meeting her, I had no faith in God and doubted that He even loved me. Now, I know that God has great things planned for my life; and that He is blessing me everyday. His favor is upon my life; and I cannot thank Him enough.

And The Winner Is…. Altar Egos DVD Giveaway

Hello Wonderful People!
Happy Monday!

We have a winner for our giveaway.

Altar Egos

We recently collaborated with LEV3L Digital to promote their movie ALTAR EGOS. This light-hearted, but meaningful movie is one that the entire family will enjoy. Here is short preview of the movie.

The movie touches on several important themes, including loving the unlovable, reconciliation with those who have hurt you, and working through conflict. The movie will be released on DVD on September 5th and we would recommend it to everyone.

But now, one blessed reader of ours will receive their own DVD copy of the movie. And the winner is….


Congratulations Kim! I hope you enjoy the movie! We will be in contact with you to let you know how you will receive the DVD.
Thank you to everyone who entered!
Until our next giveaway!

3 Less Obvious Signs It’s Time To Slow Down At Work

It’s good to be busy, but when does it become too much? We all try to fill our hours with as many things as possible and between work, family, and our social lives, we’re all at risk of doing too much. It may not seem obvious at first, but there are some subtle signs that you should look out for to help you realize when it’s time to slow down at work. Looking after your health is important and if you start to experience any of the following, it may be time for you to take a break from work and focus on your wellbeing.

You’re irrationally angry towards others
We all get irritated or angry from occasionally but if you usually have a calm and happy demeanor and start getting angry at others for no reason, you may find that you’re sleep deprived. Your crankiness may not even manifest in direct anger towards others; it could even be getting irritable at someone’s actions or talking about their faults incessantly to others. There are many health benefits of sleep, and if you find yourself regularly missing out on your recommended 8 hours, it’s time to make some changes to your lifestyle.

You’re distracted
Everyone gets distracted from time to time, but starting to forget things on a regular basis can start to be a concern. Being distracted while driving because your mind was somewhere else can be dangerous to you and others and is a sign that you have too much on your mind. Smaller distractions like forgetting things on your groceries list can be remedied through better planning and making lists, but if you do start to get concerned about your memory, you should speak to your doctor to rule out anything more serious. Sometimes a busy day at work is all it takes to help your mind to wander, so perhaps it’s time you booked a day off or took a vacation to help you de-stress and get back on track.

You’re feeling run down
When you’re overtired or stressed your immune system could take a hit, leaving you susceptible to many illnesses and viruses. If you feel like you’ve been suffering from a cold for weeks or you’re feeling a lack of energy, it may be time to slow things down. You should book an appointment with your doctor for an overall health check, in case your low immunity is caused by something else. You can also use practical tips to increase your energy levels easily. Remember that a lack of energy and persistent bouts of illness could be a sign of serious illness and you should keep an eye out for family and friends who might be suffering these sorts of symptoms.

Slowing down and getting help
If you’re starting to notice changes in your behavior or that you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, then it’s time to ask for help. It may be just a simple case of offloading your concerns to a family member or friend or speaking to work about taking a break or sharing some of your responsibilities. Find some relaxing hobbies that you can enjoy after work that will help take your mind off things – cycling is an excellent way to increase your fitness and can help you to de-stress too.

If you suspect that your condition is medically related, you should book an appointment to see a medical professional as soon as possible. Some possible illnesses can show few obvious symptoms, especially some work-related illnesses. If the worst does happen and you find yourself battling a serious illness caused by work, make sure you get the right help. By making sure that you call the right lawyer if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other condition, you could ease the pressure on your finances while you take a break.

If you feel that work is the main cause of your issues and that you need to take a break, it may be time to reassess your career. Some lines of work are more stressful than others and if you’ve reached a point where it’s getting too much – there’s nothing wrong with giving something else a try.

Nothing is more important than your health, and if work is impacting yours for any reason, it’s time to make a change. Be honest with yourself and find ways of maintaining that all-important work/life balance and keeping yourself fit and healthy.

FTC Disclaimer:
This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links.

Film Review: “Altar Egos” and Giveaway

Hello Beautiful People,

Just when I was looking for a good movie to watch, Bubbling With Elegance and Grace gets the opportunity to review the movie Altar Egos.
The movie will be released on DVD on Tuesday, September 5th; but had a chance to view the film before its release.

Desperate to see their church grow, Pastor John (Robert Amaya, MOM’S NIGHT OUT, COURAGEOUS) and wife Betsy (Erin Bethea, FIREPROOF) do the unthinkable and change their church Christmas pageant. The idea causes a great discontent in the church members, leading the pastor to take desperate measures to win back the people. The movie also stars Victoria Jackson (SNL) and Sallie Watchisn.

Altar Egos – image courtesy of LEV3L Digital

Pastor John inherited the church after his father who had been the pastor passed away. The congregation watches his every move and constantly compares him to his father. They are resistant to change and anything that Pastor John wants to do. They want to keep the heritage and tradition; but Pastor John wants to take the church in a new direction.

Here’s the movie trailer below:

Sharing some teaser photos of some memorable moments.

Pastor John played by Robert Amaya – image courtesy of LEV3L Digital


Line Dancing – image courtesy of LEV3L Digital

Definitely not giving away these scenes because they are too special.

Family – image courtesy of LEV3L Digital

ALTAR EGOS is wonderful movie that the entire family will enjoy. The movie touches on the power of forgiveness and how love can prevail even when it doesn’t seem possible. It truly shows the heart of Jesus when you can love the unlovable and reconcile with those who have hurt you.

Scripture references
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV).
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:13 NLT).

I don’t want to give away too much of the storyline because my hubby and I want you to see this movie for yourself. In partnership with LEV3L Digital, you have a chance to win your own copy of the movie on DVD.

 (1) Winner will receive 1 physical DVD of the movie Altar Egos

To Enter:
Please leave a comment on this post about why you want to want to watch this movie.
One winner will be selected at random.

Deadline for Entry:
Sunday, September 3rd at Midnight (CST)

Winner will be announced:
Monday, September 4th, at 12p.m. (CST)

 Much success to you! And stay tuned!

FTC Disclaimer:
LEV3L Digital provided Bubbling With Elegance and Grace with the opportunity to view this movie prior to its release. In exchange for writing this review and hosting the giveaway, we will receive our own DVD copy of the movie. All opinions of the movie are our own. We received no monetary compensation.

Caring From Afar

As soon as our parents start to reach a certain age, it’s all too easy to worry about their ailing health and fragility. So, there is no wonder that most people do all that they can to care for their elderly parents. However, if you do not live close to your parents, you might find that you start worrying about not being there for them. The distance could make it very difficult for you to help and support your parents, and you might struggle to get to them if there is ever an emergency. However, there are some things you can do to care for your parents from afar. Here are some tips.

Mommy Bernice.

Discuss The Situation With Your Siblings
If some of your siblings still live close to your parents, you should have a meeting with them to discuss the situation. One of your siblings might agree to take charge of your parents’ care schedule. As long as you know that your siblings have a good handle on things, you will be able to have more peace of mind while you are living away.

Arrange For In-Home Care
If your parents are still well enough to look after themselves in their own home, you might still want to arrange for some at home care agencies to call in to see them from time to time. That way, you know that there is always someone going into their home on a regular basis to ensure that they are OK. This also means that you parents will have a regular companion who they can chat with, which is especially important if one of your parents lives on their own.

Collect Important Contact Information
Even though you don’t live close to your parents, you should still make the effort to collect all of the usual important contact details for people who can help them. This should include phone numbers for their regular doctor, caregiver, and insurance company. It’s also a good idea to have the number for a neighbor or nearby friend who can quickly check in on your parents if you ever have reason to be worried.

Keep In Touch
Just because you can’t visit your parents regularly, there is no reason not to keep in contact! Calling them every other day gives them something to look forward to, and it will also calm your mind as you will be able to hear that they are well. It’s also worth using Skype and Facetime to keep in touch so that you can see as well as hear them!

Have An Emergency Plan
You always need to have an emergency plan in case anything goes wrong. This should include the quickest way for you to travel to your parents. You might also want to start saving for an emergency fund so that you can cover expensive airfare or train travel.

As you can see, caring for your elderly parents from afar doesn’t have to be too difficult. Keep these tips handy so that you always know your best options!

FTC Disclaimer:
This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links.

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