Monday, April 29, 2013

A Classy Dragon Leather Belt! {review}

So, a couple weeks ago I was sent this gorgeous "Zoey" belt from Emily's Belts.
This lovely hand-crafted leather piece came wrapped nicely in a matching tissue paper; and from the moment I opened the box and unwrapped it, I knew it was a fine accessory!
It is true, genuine leather and this you can tell simply by its scent! (Am I the only one who just adores the smell of leather??)
One of the neatest things about this belt (and, most original as well) is the dragon etching on the front. Y'all might already know from past reviews that I love medieval/fantasy related things. So naturally this little emblem is one of my favorite parts of this piece!
Here, the shop brand of the belt's maker, on the interior of the belt.
I ordered the belt a tad too big, because I wasn't sure what to expect for sizing... I've found that it's wise to go bigger, when you're unsure. SO, thanks to this, I can wear this belt either at hip, or waist.
Personally I prefer to wear belts at the waist, but it's nice to know I could do either option here if I wished.

The belt has a very unique design/construction. It doesn't require a belt buckle; which is nice!
The color may appear very red in these photos but it's more of a cherry-mahogony brown.
Personally, I am really liking this belt and I know it will be used often in my wardrobe!
It is so my style, and quite clearly it has been crafted skillfully by someone very talented in leatherworking!
Find where you can get your own "Zoey" belt by clicking here. Also, why not check around the shop while you're at it? There are some other lovely belts available for purchase which you might like!
A big thank you to Marilyn at Emily's Belts for providing this item for review.
Hope y'all enjoyed!  I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Note: I was provided this item from Emily's Belts in exchange for my honest review/opinion.

God's Amazing Plans

I struggled to decide on what to post today. I want everything I post to be helpful and uplifting to all of you girls, but sometimes it's hard to know just what to say.

 Today, I decided to take you into a little trip into the past.

 About four years ago I started my own website, Precious Jewels. The origin of Precious Jewels was a magazine I had tried to make before that. The website felt easier, and that I would reach a broader audience of girls. Not long after, I changed my website to God's Precious Jewels. It was my desire that this website could be used to help girls draw closer to God. I was hoping it could be my outreach.

 The site went pretty well, for a while. I had girls volunteer to help with different aspects of the site, but slowly, almost all of them stopped helping, or were unable to. Running a website is a hard endeavor on your own. I've tried to keep it up, but recently, in the last year or so especially, I've been very busy, and the site fell into disuse. But once in a while, a girl will pop up on the chatbox, wondering just what's going on. I feel bad when I see this, but until I get some more help, the website will probably sit there for a while more.

 But that's not the point of this post. It was while I was moderating and working on GPJ, that I met Leah. Or sort of met her. I found her website somehow, and followed it, and she left a comment in my guest book.

 I always had it on my heart to reach out to girls in some way. God works in so many amazing and mysterious ways. Who knew, long ago, that Leah and I, who didn't even know a thing about the other besides what our sites said, would someday be working on the same blog, and that it would be inspiration for young ladies? God truly blows my mind sometimes. He is magnificent. Leah and I met up again on the Go Teen Writer's facebook page, another hobby God gave to both of us, and that's when I figured out who she was.

 I don't know what all of you think of this story, but I just think about the way God works. How something that happens in your life, can be part of God's plan for your future, before you ever know it. So even though GPJ might not be going strong, God was able to use it to help me be a part of this blog, three years later.

 Think of what God can do in your life.

Poppy Lime Design Hair Flower {review}

{I was supposed to post on Sunday, but was a bit late, so here is the Sunday post, on Monday!}

I was asked to do a review of an item from Poppy Lime Design, and I chose this lovely emerald hair flower! I think hair flowers  are very classy, girly, and a great accessory for almost any outfit!

It shipped pretty quickly, I did not have to wait longer than I expected at all, it arrived within a few days. The box was decorated very lovely, with tissue paper, a few tiny decorative paper flowers and a pretty business card.

The box.

The flower was very sturdy, a little heavier than the average hair flower, but that is on account of the centerpiece, which on this one is a half-sphere and studded with crystals. Still, not too heavy. The centerpiece is not *quite* exactly centered, which is not a problem but can be a slight aggravation for me, since I am somewhat "OCD" about those things.

In my hand, to show the size.

On the back is both a hair clip and a pin, so it could be worn in your hair, or as a corsage pinned to a dress, scarf, or hat. I decided to wear it in my hair on Sunday. It stayed in very well!

Forgive the mess in my room. I'm in the middle of a sewing project!

The flower as a whole is put together really well, and feels very sturdy. I have used many hair flowers that felt as though it would break if I didn't handle it like blown glass... not so with this one! It is very solid, and I don't think it will fall apart easily at all.

A closeup of the centerpiece.

All in all, it was a great find, and now I want some more. XD

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I was trying to figure out what to post about (seems to be a recurring problem =) ), so I was browsing through some of the other girls' posts.  I noticed several of them touched on the topic of smiling and how it makes you look or feel classier.  

Not only does smiling make you look and feel better, it brightens the day of those around us.  A simple smile while passing someone at the store or smiling at those we work with can make all the difference. I feel so much better when I smile.  I feel happier and have a better outlook on everyday things.

What a better witness we can be when we are smiling!  Would you want to listen to someone who was witnessing to you while frowning?  I know I usually rather listen to those who are happy rather than frowning all the time.

Be classy and smile more. =)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

88Links Medieval-Inspired Jewelry! {Product Review}

Howdy y'alls! 
So, a couple weeks ago, I was sent a package from 88Links to review here on APOC.
I was sent a pair of Chainmail earrings, and a Ruby Silver toe ring

I just had to get pictures of the packaging. Lady Steel, who I corresponded with about this review, did such a nice job even with the color scheme selection and handwritten note! These were some of the most adorably packaged things I've seen! (Okay, okay, I'll stop raving about the packaging and get to the actual products.)

Here are the chainmail earrings. I've worn these quite a few times now and have gotten several compliments on them. They are very lightweight and delicate, so definitely easy to wear for extended periods of time. As far as these being durable go, their lightweight nature as I said makes them delicate, but not so delicate that you're always worrying about them breaking on you with any little move.  

Overall, I like these earrings a lot, and they have already become a staple in my wardrobe! 

Now, on to the toe ring. 

First off, as you can clearly see, I'm not using it as a toe ring. I haven't ever been big about putting jewelry on my feet let alone my toes, since I go barefoot practically 99 percent of my life. I wouldn't want to get such a pretty piece as this messed up by wearing it on my oftentimes very dirty farm/country feet!

Anyways, I saw the color of this ring and it immediately stood out. It struck me as very medieval/elvish looking...And as some of you probably know already, I happen to love that particular style!

This is also a simple, elegant and delicate piece. I wouldn't wear it just around the house doing chores and and the usual routine. So far I've worn it to church, outings to town, etc. It's truly a beautiful ring and, as with the earrings, I've also received compliments on it. 

Soooooo...the bottom line on both these pieces?

I give them a thumbs-up! I have always loved hand-made things and both these items clearly reflect the originality, uniqueness and craftsmanship of being crafted by hand. I'm sure I'll be wearing them for many days to come!

Find where you can purchase your own earrings or ring at the 88Links Etsy shop. Lady Steel also has a myriad of other neat jewelry items there, too! Why not head over and check it out for yourself? Also, here's the link to 88Links' Facebook page! Stop by and tell them Leah Kathryn from APOC sent ya!

What do you think? Which was your favorite piece? 
Do you like medieval inspired jewelry?

Have a blessed day,
Note: These items were provided by 88Links in exchange for my honest review/opinion.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Preparing To Be a Help Meet {Book Review}

Hello everyone! I hope you are having a beautiful day! God has been so good, I hope all of you are enjoying His blessings as much as I am.  
When trying to decide on what to blog about today, I realized no one had done a review on a wonderful book, Preparing To Be A Help Meet yet. So I decided to write about it for you all. It's been a while since I read this, but hopefully my memory will do it justice.           
 This book is written for girls and women who have not been married yet. I'm sure it would be interesting for married women to read, but most of the information inside is targeted at younger girls.

 Debi Pearl truly did a wonderful job with this book. She started with her own beautiful story, how God told her she would marry her husband when she was just thirteen years old, and he was twenty-one, and how about seven years later, it really happened. She includes several love stories, about girls who waited, and trusted the Lord for the man He meant for them. Some of the girls had to trust the Lord even if they didn't really know the boy that well. 

 But she also talked about girls who had such sad stories- girls who had a nice guy interested in them, but didn't trust God, and lost everything. 

 Besides the initial relationship stories, she also writes on health, and how that can affect your family. Because this book is called Preparing To Be a Help Meet, it is about preparing for your future as a wife and mother. Preparation is so important. She includes lots of great tips and advice. She also writes how many of the girls who had guys interested in them were noticed by the guys for their working in the church- doing things for the Lord. This is really important. God blesses those who serve Him.

 She put girls into three different categories, and guys as well, and talks about how they match up. Are you a dreamer, a servant, or a queen? You'll find out in this book! (I'm a dreamer... :D)

 At the end of each chapter, there is a section for you to write. There is an assignment at the top of these places. You could be writing a letter to your future husband, making a list of qualities you want in a husband, or analyzing a scripture.

There is so much to this book, that you could go on and on, but I don't want to ruin it for you. Just get it so you can read it. :) It is worth everything you would spend on it. 

 This is one of the books that opened my eyes personally about courting. I had always assumed I would, since it was what my family wanted, but this really laid it out, and explained how wonderful waiting for God's plan really is.
 Here is the link to the Amazon page, but you can get it just about anywhere online. I highly recommend it! 

 I hope you have enjoyed this review. See you next week!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Woman to Woman

In case we have any male readers, I'd like to just say that this is a women-only blog post.  So if you're a guy, move along please, nothing to see here. :)

Yesterday morning, I woke up to what should have been a perfect day.  The weather was gorgeous and we started a fire and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows for s'mores.  My brother and his wife arrived to announce an expected new addition to their little nest, empty for far too long.  My beautiful new head coverings arrived in the mail and I wrote this post relaxing on the couch with the sun streaming through the windows and a cup of wild orange tea.  Yes, a wonderful day.  Except for one thing.  Several things that I did not or did do that ruin my day until 3:00 in the afternoon.

What, you might ask, happened?

About a year after I got my period, I started having regular menstrual cramps....every month.  Awful cramps that sent me to bed moaning and groaning for several hours.  My family thought I was just being dramatic (I did have a reputation for being a bit of a drama queen) and getting used to being a woman.  They used to say, "What will you do when you have a baby?  It's WAY worse!"  One woman I know had the same problem and after marrying and having children, she told me that it's really not worse.  That in fact, labor was easier.

Anyway, over the past 10 years I have tried everything.  I know what works and what doesn't.  I'm a walking cramp doctor.  I've also discovered that I am not the only one.  So when I finally found something that works for me, I started sharing more openly about it.  This however, is the first time publishing my solution in public and I think it's long overdue.

After trying everything, I discovered Young Living essential oils and started using Lavender, Clary Sage and Ylang Ylang which helped immensely.  I had several ladies talk about using an oil blend called Progessence Plus to balance hormones, but I didn't actually try it until last summer.  I started using 4 drops a day and extra once a month.  By this time, my cramps had lessened somewhat and I had learned to manage them a little better by dropping everything, using oils and going to bed.  I didn't notice a difference with the Pro.+ at first but after 4-5 months I realized that I wasn't having any trouble at all during my monthly cycles.  This has continued since then so long as I kept using the oil....

Which I haven't.  I'm not always diligent in using the Progessence and this past month I hardly used any at all.  Add to that, I did a lot of walking and some squats the day before starting this month.  Very bad idea.

Someone told me not too long ago that her cramps were like contractions.  That, dear sisters, is exactly what happened to me.  I don't think I've been in that much pain since years past when I didn't know anything to use for it.  Everything that usually helps almost right away, did little or nothing.  While my sister-in-law was announcing her baby, I was huddled in my bed feeling like I was having one.

All that to say, I have been reminded of how awful it is to have to deal with this and I won't be skipping my Pro+ for anything!  How silly of me, to know of and have in my possession these wonderful healing oils given by YHWH and not use them!  Also how silly of me to know and have and not share with others.

Progessence Plus is a blend of natural progesterone and essential oils like frankincense, cedar, rosewood, peppermint, clove and others.  One bottle lasts me about 3-4 months if I use it diligently.  Unlike a lot of progesterone supplements, it does not have to be rotated.  You just use it every day and your body will absorb what you need, when you need it and the oils included in it have more uses than just hormone balance so instead of negative side effects like Acetaminaphen, regular Tylenol, Advil, etc. it can actually have positive side effects. :)  It is not only for cramps, it balances your hormones whatever the problem (mood swings, infertility, irregular cycles, etc.) and I believe every woman should be using this wonderful blend! :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Flared Shirts {Closet Highlights}

So, flared shirts are totally in style now.  The compliment your waist, and hips.  I've never been one for flared shirts, but I have to admit they look really great on some people.

Another, black, flared shirt.
A belt really accents a flared shirt, making it even more flattering.

I actually do like that shirt.

The three pictures above are all actually flared shirts, even though they aren't the same kind as the ones before.  They aren't sewn right above the hips, but they're still considered flared shirts.  Those ones I would actually wear.

Picture #1: Google images
Picture #2:
Picture #3: Pinterest
Picture #4: Amazon
Picture #5: Pinterest
Picture #6:
Picture #7:

Well, I hope you liked it!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lilla Rose Hair Clips! {Product Review}

Howdy y'alls!
A couple weeks ago, I was sent a beautiful flexi-clip from Lilla Rose!
 Lilla Rose is one of my favorite hair jewelry/hair piece companies, and a couple years ago I was first introduced to them by winning a giveaway hosted by the lovely ladies at Urban Homestead. 

Amanda Smith was the sweet consultant I worked with this time. She is also the one donating a $16 gift certificate to Lilla Rose on our our big group giveaway (ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT TO ENTER!!).

So, a big shout-out thank you to Amanda for contributing to the giveaway and providing this product for review today! (Y'all, she would love it if you could go and like her Facebook page, and also check out her Lilla Rose online store.)

Nowwww, on to the review!

I was given a choice of which flexi-clip I'd like to review and I chose the Dreamcatcher in size medium. 

(Photo from Lilla Rose website, since my icky photos don't really do this clip justice!)

The first thing which caught my eye with this particular clip, was the color combinations.

The turquoise. 

If y'all didn't know already, I adore's just about my favorite color.
So naturally, when I was skimming the flexi-clip page, I saw this one and instantly knew it was "the one."

I really like the little sparkly jewel in the middle. (Once again, this photo doesn't do it justice at all.)

I chose the size medium clip because I wanted something big enough to hold a good section of my thick hair, but small enough to do half-up/half-down hairstyles and such without some giant clip to fuss with.

 The clip I won a while back was a size small flexi-clip, but I think the medium works a ton better for my hair type now that I have the two to compare.

I've only had this clip for a few weeks and already, numerous people have given me compliments on it. 

It's really easy to use, (literally, it takes mere seconds for me to pin my hair back with it) and adds a touch of whimsy and elegance to any hairstyle.

Overall, I give the flexi-clips two thumbs up! Even the packaging this clip arrived in was professional and elegant. 

Amanda has been a pleasure to work with and I would definitely refer you to her if you are interested in making a purchase from Lilla Rose. (Once again, visit her shop here)
Are you unsure of what size clip you'd wear? Click this link for details on  flexi-clip sizing. 

I hope y'all enjoyed this review! I do apologize for the quality of the photos I took. I'm no professional photographer(as is evident!)...even though that would be a nice aspiration one day!

 If you could pick one Lilla Rose item, what would it be? 

Have a blessed Monday,
 Note: I was given this item from Lilla Rose in exchange for my honest opinion.