One Thing On Friday: Leslie Sisti #BeBlessedLovelies #RememberingLeslie

Leslie Sisti #BeBlessedLovelies #RememberingLeslieLeslie was the first blogger who I actually followed. Sure, occasionally I would check in with other blogs but until Leslie Sisti there wasn’t a blogger who I checked in on every day. This was just before she would meet the man who would become her husband. I read the posts about planning the wedding and then the joy over their first baby, Caroline, and that same joy when their second daughter, Ainsley, was born.

When I heard the news that Leslie had passed, I was so sad which makes it unfathomable to consider what her family, friends, husband, and daughters (though they are still babies now) are going through. Anything I felt was less than a drop of their sorrow. Leslie went to be with Jesus due to complications with a genetic heart defect. Even when she wasn’t well, she was still the bright cheerful and real, Leslie. Everyone on the internet has just expressed complete shock. We knew it was serious but this…Leslie Sisti #BeBlessedLovelies #RememberingLeslie 1

So here are the things I loved about Leslie that translated to her blog and social media. She was bright and clever and quick. She was self depreciating and kind and made people feel special and loved. She certainly adored her family–her husband, Stephen, and Caroline and Ainsley. When she became a mom, she was still herself, if that makes sense. Yes, there were mommy posts mixed in with the fashion posts (as expected) but I still laughed and read because Leslie was the type of person who was charming. People wanted to be around her or work with her and be like her. She was so down to earth and just…great.

There is a fund for Caroline and Ainsley’s future college fund.

There is comfort in knowing that her faith was incredibly important to her and that she is now with Jesus with a new body. She is no longer in pain. I heard at the memorial this song was sung and printed on the program: “No guilt in life/No fear in death/This is the power of Christ in me?From life’s first cry to final breath/Jesus commands my destiny.”Leslie Sisti #BeBlessedLovelies #RememberingLeslie 2

Keep Stephen and the girls in your thoughts and prayers. Please consider contributing to the fund for the girls. The hastags #beblessedlovelies (how Leslie signed off each blog) and #RememberingLeslie are being used to do exactly that, to remember her.

Every time I see her picture, it’s like a fresh shock. This vibrant 30 year old wife and mother is gone from the earth is crazy to imagine.

In her honor: Be Blessed, Lovelies,
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Normally on a Friday I would be linking up with Leslie. Today I am linking up with Darci, Christina, Natasha, April, KarliAmy

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Cannonballing & Metaphors.

Cannonballing & MetaphorsThis is what I know. A few weeks ago, she could paddle around the pool without floaties using a noodle. A week or two after that, she felt confident without the noodle. Still, she didn’t want to jump in. Going under water, especially jumping in without control, made her nervous. Then this weekend, my little sister asked me to watch her take a running start as she jumped into the pool. And I mean, she really jumped. These were cannon balls. Mid-air her face was filled with glee, not an iota of nerves.

I’ve been thinking about it because I just love the photographs of her. And I realize something important (little sisters are constantly teaching big sisters things, you know). New ventures (or adventures) like swimming, or starting a business, or moving across the country, or anything really, can make you a little nervous. You may want to cling to things like noodles, though you are already know how to swim. It makes you feel a little bit safer. Sometimes it is good and important to feel safe.Cannonballing & Metaphors 1But then there comes a time when all the time and effort you’ve put in (swimming lessons and practice…I hope you’re getting that this is all a metaphor) is enough. You feel safe, not because you are without fear, but because you know you’ve done all you can and it’s time to run and jump.Cannonballing & Metaphors 2As you keep jumping in sooner or later you accidentally inhale water and cough and snot comes out your nose but your arms and legs remember how to swim (because you did everything you were supposed to do) and you are okay and safe. You’ve experienced the worst. So when you run and jump, you can actually enjoy that cannonball for all its worth.Cannonballing & Metaphors 3When I moved to San Francisco, I leapt. I ran and did a cannonball before I had time to be afraid. But everything my parents taught me as I grew, the things they instilled me, lessons I learned in my twenty something years, made it okay. We–meaning everyone–talk about leaping all the time. I’m all for it. Leaping led to one of my greatest adventures. I’m still leaping and then also learning to leap. But it’s not like I tried to cannonball without ever taking a swim lesson. All the important people in my life–family, teachers, friends–had been teaching me to swim for twenty plus years and so when it came time to cannonball, I could do it.

Sometimes I came up coughing with snot dripping from my nose and you know what? It wasn’t great. Metaphorically, I sometimes had to get out of the pool and take a drink of water, wipe the sunscreen that was now in my eyes off with a towel. Maybe I swallowed enough water to take a break.Cannonballing & Metaphors 4But it doesn’t keep my sister or me or you from running, leaping, and doing another cannonball. In mid air, the joy and excitement and thrill outweigh the possibility of coming up coughing (a metaphor for failing, losing, sorrow). And really, if we did a ratio of how many great cannonballs we’ve leapt into and the ones that took us out of the water for awhile, I am almost positive it would come out in the great cannonballs favor–by a long shot.

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P.S. If you want to see my favorite photograph of the lil sis from this session, check it out here. It’s currently my favorite picture of her in general.
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How to See Rome in a Day.

RomeinadayIt can be done. Will you be able to see everything? No. But you will be able to see the best parts, in one day, on foot. You’ll be exhausted and so happy.

I adore my family in Italy. If we were in person, you would see my hand over my heart. They are some of the dearest people in my life. Though my family originates from an area in Tuscany, the ones I know best have settled in Rome–a suburb outside of Rome near the sea. It’s lovely.romeinaday1

Long story short, I visited my friend, Chelsea, who was abroad in Paris for about a day before the two of us headed for Rome (if you want to read about seeing Paris in six hours, here you go). She had a very limited time in Rome and so we basically had 12 hours to see the major sights (although we did see La Basilica di San Pietro and the Vatican at night which was amazing since it was around Christmas time…If you are in Rome longer, it is very much worth it to see the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel).

So the next day, since my family had to work and since I’ve spent quite a lot of time in Rome, my relatives drew me a map of the walking tour we’d take. Imagine lots of arguing and back and forth. Chelsea thought it was stereotypically Italian that even though she couldn’t understand a word, she was laughing hysterically over us. I was playing tour guide and while I may know Rome, I am the worst navigator but even I couldn’t mess this up.

Please know that there is so much more to see than what I have listed and planned out (in order) but a lot of European Trips mean limited time in certain cities. So, here we go, How to See Rome in a Day:

They dropped us off near the Colosseum–il colosseo–and so it began. (This was before I learned about photography…I just have to say it.)

 

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romeinaday3Next, we walked past the Forum which involved zero Euros and allowed us to still enjoy it.

Did I mention that you better be wearing walking shoes? Next, we made our way to Piazza Venezia where you will find several  things. The most obvious is the Victor Emmanuel II Monument–more commonly known as wedding cake(because, obviously, it looks like a wedding cake). This guy is a big deal because he played a major role in il risorgomento–the unifying of Italy which did not happen until 1861! Not to bore you (Italian minor…can’t help it) but that’s kind of crazy. There wasn’t even a common written or verbal language until then. That’s why the dialects in Italy are so strong (there are parts of Italy where I can barely communicate).romeinaday4

You will also find the very tiny (seriously it’s so much smaller than expected) balcony where Mussolini gave his speeches. Although most things look insignificant next to the wedding cake, I suppose. If you’re hungry wait for the next location.

The Pantheon!romeinaday5

If I had to choose my favorite monument in Rome…it’s this one. I can’t explain it. There is just something beautiful and still and lovely about it. Go on and check out the hole in the roof. You’ll find great food around la Piazza della Rotunda (where the Panth is: we’re on nickname terms).

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You’ll also find the best gelato place I’ve ever found and when I am in Italy I do tend to have gelato in between every meal so…I am an expert. It’s called Giolotti. Don’t miss it.

Onwards…

On the way to the next stop, here’s a treat. Sant’eustachio is well known as the very best–il migliore–espresso bar in the city. And it is. Be sure to pick up some beans for home too! Seriously this place is in every travel guide talks about it. People are so dedicated that this place (which isn’t large) ships internationally.

Next, let’s go to Piazza Navona. This is one of the most gorgeous piazzas in Italy (the word piazzas hurt my heart and I just have to tell you the plural is piazze or I will have a heart attack or my Italian professor will know somehow…He just will.) You’ll often find are fairs here that are such fun. You’ll pay more to eat here because it’s a tourist attraction but you can’t beat the experience.romeinaday8

Depending on the time of year, it’s getting dark now. This is fine because the next stop is the Trevi Fountain–La Fontana di Trevi–and it is lit up and beautiful at night. Watch for pick pockets here (everywhere but here particularly…it’s not scary though and when someone tries to sell you roses just say no).  Make sure you throw a coin in with your right hand over your left shoulder to ensure you return to Rome (hopefully next time you can enjoy it at a more leisurely pace, see more of the details, and just see more).romeinaday7

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Finally, you’ll make to the Spanish steps at the Piazza di Spanga. There’s a super convenient metra stop right there so you can hop on and take it to wherever you are staying.

Buon Viaggo! Let me know if you have questions!

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Bex and Scott Photo Shoot | NB Creative Inc.

Bex and Scott

Ask my mom or anyone who has known me my whole life: I love anything creative. One day I decided I wanted to learn to knit so I found someone to teach me. Another day I started to make quilt squares though I never quilted before (and confession: that quilt is still unfinished). When I started blogging, it was all about the writing. I liked thinking of creative ideas and photographs that could go with my entries. Then, I started to enjoy the graphic design and photography aspect of it. I took classes. I’ve gotten better. I decided I wanted to do photography as more than just a hobby around the same time that I decided I was going to start really putting effort into freelance writing and marketing (and other things too!).

Thus, NB Creative, Inc. was born out of passion and hustle and pure love for creating and writing. Be sure to check it out for more info and see other photo clients (more to come!).

I work with companies and I also work one on one with clients depending on their needs. You can read more about NB Creative, Inc. here.

But after I took those photography classes, I begged my friends and family and network: let me take your photos and I will give them to you for free. I recognize (because I am this way) that photography is incredibly important in capturing life’s important moments and there was no way I would feel comfortable doing that and taking money from someone until I had lots of practice. I still have a long way to go but my fees are low and I go above and beyond.

Bex and Scott have been together for five years and married for two. I was visiting her in Florida around the time of their second anniversary and since they had just moved to this new land, Bex had a vision for some photographs. I added what I could and we collaborated.

If you know me, you know I am a perfectionist. We happened to get her all gussied up and ready minutes before a storm rolled in (I did her makeup which will be on her sometime in August). Not only did I have to rush but the light was dimming. If the timing would have worked, we would have waited until after the storm passed because the sky was gorgeous. But that’s the perfectionist in me. Bex assures me that she loves them and even her husband loves him which, she says, is harder to accomplish. She says they are some of their favorite photos of the two of them in five years which means a lot.

I love this couple, the way they love one another, and the way they love others. Without further ado, Bex and Scott Photo Shoot:Bex and Scott 1

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Bex and Scott 10Yes, I work with photography clients and I love it. The majority of my freelance business is writing–working with brands and companies where I write blogs and other marketing materials for their own brand and sites, help with SEO & social media, marketing, graphic design and more. For more info on either of these things, visit NB Creative, Inc.

I hope you love the photos of Bex and her man. Aren’t they dreamy?

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Daisies to Combat the Mondaze + A Sale.

I try to always keep it real here. If I say something, it’s as true as I know it to be. So even though I know I have said it before, I have to tell you this month: I got so lucky. The ladies (also known as Daisies) hanging out on my side bar this month are not only interesting, they are lovely. Some you’ve seen here before (and I love them so). And some are new. Getting to know them was great! Now, I know that some people (including myself skip over these posts) but my sponsors and I work so hard to make these interestings. Like I would actually read and enjoy these. You get to know these ladies and their voice and their blogs with pictures.

Also…wanna be a Daisy or any other kind of sponsor? Use: brave for 20% off.Daisy1. Hi there! My name is Anne otherwise known as the blogger behind Love the Here and Now. Other than a blogger, who am I? I am a wife married to my high school sweetheart, a mom to three daughters (one of which is heading off to college so I’m in the process of learning to let go), and I work full time at a library.

2. I have always loved to read. In fact, each month I am a co-host of a blogger book club. I would love to have you join us! Here are the selections for the rest of the year.

3. One of my favorite things to blog about is blogging! I love to share tips that I have learned. I switched to WordPress in January and love it (hello plug ins!) I’m constantly finding new ways to tweak my site and make it my own. My recent tweak? A homepage for my blog. Speaking of that…are you a fan of home pages or not? People seem to have definite opinions; I’d love to hear yours.

4. As my husband says, I cook only out of necessity. He, on the other hand, enjoys cooking so I let him cook for our family. Who am I to deprive him of that joy? 😉 I will, however, bake on occasion (give me all the sweets!). You can find find some of my tried and true recipes here. My favorites though? Rhubarb Crisp, Starbuck’s Lemon Knockoff Bread, and Cannoli Dip.

Be sure to stop by and say hello!

Amanda Moments Collage for nina1: Hello! I’m Amanda, and I blog at Amanda Moments, where I chronicle all the moments in my life right now. I’m a Midwestern newlywed and write about my marriage and wedding, life, food, and lots of random thoughts. I also host a fun monthly linkup called Tell Me About Your Town that I would love to have you join me in! Stop on by and let’s be besties:)

2: I’m married to a pretty rad dude named Cal who I met in college and is now a rock star (and by that I mean the rock star of my life, but he also plays in a metal band). We like to be silly and laugh because that just makes life more fun.

3: I’m also slightly obsessed with cats. And by that I mean majorly. I have two kitties now — Captain and Little Girl — and I am a firm believer in the healing power of funny cat videos when you’ve got the blues.

4: The third love of my life is cake, and these beauties were raspberry swirl with cream cheese frosting from my wedding. Just because I’m skinny doesn’t mean I don’t love to eat!

You can also follow me here: Bloglovin’ / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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1. Hi Everyone, I’m Sheryl and I am a counselor/life coach and trainer who writes at How to Make A Life. This is a space where I write about trying to live the best life possible using my own life as a blueprint to provide motivation, hope and inspiration to others.

2. I focus upon healthy living from many perspectives including healthy gluten free and paleo recipes, journal writing and a regular Self Care Saturday series that offers tips and suggestions for daily self care.

3. As a born and bred Kentucky girl, I feel it is important to appreciate the beauty of daily life and where I live as well as the wonderful things to do in my own back door.

4. My husband and I are fortunate enough to travel on a regular basis and although I could live in the islands, I have fallen in love with places close to home and some I never thought I would have.

Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin | Pinterest | Facebook

June Daisy Collage

1) Hi! I’m Liz and I blog over at Baby Got B.A., where I talk about me trying to do life (not always successfully).

2) I am a cat mama to Binx, my wonderful kitty, who was sadly just diagnosed with lymphoma.

3) I firmly believe that What Would You Do by City High is one of the best songs ever written.

4) I am a huge coffee fan, and recently shared my favorite cold brewed coffee method.

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My shop is Mama Designed & I just recently opened it last month. So far I sell digital prints. I am looking to add printable planner stickers and invitations. Also, I will be offering blog related services to the shop soon.

I am Ashley, and I love me some Jesus, coffee, and Target. :)

I am wife and mama living in Alabama now. [ I am a Georgia girl though ] I have been married almost 7 years & I have two daughters. Kenzie Love who is almost 3, & Mina Grace who is about to be 8 months. I am super big on family, get togethers with family are my favorite!

I am also a blogger. I blog over at That Southern Mama. I blog mainly about wife/mama related things. [beauty & recipes included].

http://etsy.com/shop/mamadesigned

http://twitter.com/thismamablogs

http://instagram.com/mamadesigned


 

Don’t forget about that sale! And don’t forget to check these ladies out (ahem, their blogs) and add them to your daily reads. They are all on my list!

XO,

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