Monday, March 27, 2017

You Are Free by Rebekah Lyons Free Online Bible Study at Faith Gateway

Update: Use code YOUAREFREE to save $3 each on the You Are Free Study Guide and book at Faith Gateway. You also receive free shipping with a purchase of $25 or more! There is currently still a sale going on in the store, so if you hurry, you can get both the study guide and book for around $20 as I was able to do!

I wanted to take a quick moment to invite you to join me for my latest Bible study online. I'm venturing out to a different site than my usual (Proverbs 31) and giving Faith Gateway a try, and today is the kickoff for their study You Are Free by Rebekah Lyons.

I purchased both the book and study guide, but either one is optional. The study guide is recommended to get the most out of the study, however.

I've already breezed through the first four chapters of the book because Rebekah is such an amazing writer!

Here's the description of the study from Faith Gateway:

Are you exhausted? Wounded? Tired of striving to keep up? What if you knew deep down that freedom was yours?
What would it mean to know that you are free? What if you truly believed that Christ has set you free?
Jesus whispers, I gave My life to set you free. I gave you purpose. I called you to live in freedom in that purpose. Yet we still hobble through life, afraid to confess all the ways we push against this truth, because we can’t even believe it.
Christ doesn’t say you can be or may be or will be free. He says you are free.
Join us in this study and discover what it means to live as one who is set free!
You can sign up now and get started right away! We’re making the companion study videos with Rebekah Lyons available to you for FREE. That’s right, all six sessions - releasing a new one every Sunday! Register and get the schedule, free downloads, and all the great bonuses!
Please be in with us? You're needed and wanted and belong.

Did that speak to you the way that it did to me? If so, head over to the main page and get signed up! The Kickoff Event is tonight at 9 EST, but no worries if you can't make it or if you don't see this post until after today.

You can join in anytime and the kickoff event will be saved for you to watch at your convenience. And best of all, while you wait for your study guide and/or book to arrive, when you sign up for the Faith Gateway study, you get free access to the first chapter in both!

HOWEVER, there is an amazing bonus that comes with doing this study along with everyone else, and it's partly why I'm encouraging you to sign up right away! There are six, weekly study videos that you would normally have to purchase separately. But with this study, they are free and will be released on a special page week-by-week (you'll receive the link to that page when you sign up). But they will only remain up for one week at a time, so don't delay!

What spoke to me most about this study was how Rebekah was set free from striving to please others. As a recovering people pleaser, that really made me want to join this study the most and I can't wait to find out how she was set FREE from the bondage of that stronghold! Because though I try my best, I still backslide more often than I'd like to admit.

I'm ready for Jesus to broke those chains, and so many others! How about you?


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Worlds Apart by Jars of Clay- Lenten Reflection and Worship

I love this song and how you can feel the angst the artist carries at having caused Jesus pain through sin. And the awe over His immense love and sacrifice for us.

To not want to be another nail in His skin and wishing he could take away his personal wrongs that caused His blood to shed.

He loved us enough to die for us. But too often it's so easy to "look beyond the empty cross, forgetting what our lives have cost."

That's why Lent, as painful as it is, is so important. To remember that Jesus died to give us life. To reflect and repent. To pray with all our might for Him to "take our world apart."

I see that as meaning to keep us from falling in line with the ways of the world and going along with what the world tells us is right and wrong.

Instead, I want to be "worlds apart" from the world. To have Him wash me clean of every sin this world tempts us with- selfishness, pride, and "all the things I cannot hide." To take my sin-soaked heart and make it His.

All I am for all He is. Forever.

Thank You, Jesus.


I am the only one to blame for this
Somehow it all ends up the same
Soaring on the wings of selfish pride
I flew too high and like Icarus
I collide

With a world I try so hard
To leave behind

To rid myself of all but love
To give and die

To turn away and not become
Another nail to pierce
The skin of one who loves
More deeply than the ocean
More abundant than the tears
Of a world embracing every heartache

Can I be the one to sacrifice
Or grip the spear and watch
The blood and water flow

To love you, take my world apart
To need you, I am on my knees
To love you, take my world apart
To need you, broken on my knees

All said and done I stand alone
Amongst the remains of life I should not own
It takes all I am to believe
In the mercy that covers me

Did you really have to die for me?
All I am for all you are
Because what I need
And what I believe
Are worlds apart
And I pray

On my knees

I look beyond the empty cross
Forgetting what my life has cost
And wipe away the crimson stains
And dull the nails that still remains
More and more I need you now
I owe you more each passing hour
Battle between grace and pride
I gave up not so long ago
So steal my heart and take the pain
Wash the feet and cleanse my pride
Take the selfish, take the weak
And all the things I cannot hide
Take the beauty, take my tears
The sin-soaked heart and make it yours
Take my world all apart
Take it now, take it now
And serve the ones that I despise
Speak the words I can't deny
Watch the world I used to love
Fall to dust and thrown away
I look beyond the empty cross
Forgetting what my life has cost
Wipe away the crimson stains
And dull the nails that still remain
So steal my heart and take my pain
Take the selfish, take the weak
And all the things I cannot hide
Take the beauty, take my tears
Take my world apart, take my world apart
I pray, and I pray, and I pray
Take my world apart
Worlds apart

Monday, November 28, 2016

Meet the Chanel of Yarn - We Are Knitters Samasana Crocheted Blanket Kit Review and GIVEAWAY!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary Samasana Blanket Kit from We Are Knitters to facilitate this review. As always, opinions are all mine and are never influenced by comp items.

Note: I usually link to specific items, but for purposes of this review/giveaway, the sponsor has requested that I use one specific link. Please click that link to navigate to any kits or other items you wish to view on their site. Thank you!


Hello, my dear readers! How have you been? Yes, once again I'm apologizing for the length of time in between posts but as most of you are aware, I have been fighting a very long and debilitating health battle that has altered my life and my ability to function greatly.

Between dozens of week-long hospitalizations, surgeries, doctor's appointments, medications that sometimes cause more problems than they help, and a host of symptoms affecting my entire body, these past few years have been some of the most difficult in my entire life.

So when I'm able to get through the brain fog and get out of bed, I usually have to see doctors, run errands (I'm unable to drive so my husband drives for me), see friends and family, etc. That has left very little time for me to get on the computer and think clearly enough to bring you the quality of posts that you deserve. But I'm pretty sure my fellow knitters, crocheters and yarn addicts will agree that this post is well worth the wait! ;)


But enough about boring and depressing health stuff! That's not what you all have been waiting to read! This post isn't about doom and gloom and misery! It's a celebration of something I love dearly and a reward to one lucky reader from an amazing giveaway I'm offering with a highly popular company among fabric artists!

More about the giveaway later on in the post. First, you must know what an exceptional giveaway this is because this is a very exceptional yarn!

Years ago, I developed a curiosity about the art of crocheting. This was before YouTube, so my Learn to Crochet kit came with a booklet and CD-ROM for the computer. It took several tries but I finally got the hang of it. And after about a year, I began to master the art.

Little did I know how important teaching myself to crochet would end up being later in my life. Because of my health battles (sorry, but this is relevant...bear with me for a moment), working outside of the home has been impossible, nor have I been able to continue my freelance writing career due to medications and brain fog from my illnesses.

So, as I brainstormed for other ways to help provide for my family, I remembered my long-lost love of crochet. I still loved the art, but I hadn't picked up a crochet hook in some time. I decided to follow the infamous advice of "do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life," and started my own online crochet store, Luna Grace Boutique.

I wasn't sure how it would go, but thankfully God has blessed my business abundantly. I have all the work that I can handle by myself right now and plan to eventually branch out to retail stores and hire other master crocheters to help fill orders, with a goal of hiring those who are also debilitated by chronic illness so that I can share the love and opportunity to earn an income while disabled.

As a professional crocheter, I have become very familiar with the massive array of yarns available on the market, from 100% cotton, to wool, to acrylic and acrylic blends. I have used yarns made out of alpaca, silk, cashmere, and more. I have a few favorite craft store brands, as well as brands from my local yarn shop (LYS in crochet lingo).

Craft store brands are more affordable, and I know which brands have the softest acrylic that doesn't look or feel like acrylic, as well as which brand has the best cotton yarn, the best wool, and more. LYS yarn is one step up from craft store brands in price and quality. I fell in love with a few brands in my LYS (which just so happens to be right behind our home...dangerous for a crochet addict!)

But there is one brand of yarn that always makes my jaw drop. It is used by the best crochet bloggers and designers and I have been coveting it for quite awhile now. There isn't an ounce of acrylic in any of their yarns...they are all made with natural fibers, which speaks to their commitment to the environment.

This brand is what I call the "Chanel of Yarn."

Just which brand is it that makes my heart flutter every time I see their gorgeous yarn and has me wishing I could make every single crochet kit they have to offer? Don't let the name fool you! It's We Are Knitters (WAK) and let me tell you, there aren't any finer yarns or more stylish patterns anywhere, IMHO. And despite the name, they cater to crocheters as well. Yay!

Samasana Blanket
Samasana Blanket
Samasana Blanket

We Are Knitters has been featured in prestigious media such as Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Refinery 29, Vanity Fair, Vogue. And for good reason! Read on to find out why!

I reached out to WAK and they were gracious enough to send me their gorgeous Samasana Blanket Crochet Kit (see "Crochet Kits" to navigate to the Samasana Blanket Kit) for review. While you can purchase their yarn individually and use your own patterns, their slogan "All the Happiness in a Kit" is completely true! My husband placed the box in front of me while I was napping because he knew I wouldn't be able to resist waking up and digging in right away!

Samasana Blanket Crochet Kit

And dig away I did! Check out just what's inside a WAK kit that makes them so magical:

Click on "The Best Kits" here to see all of the glorious kits they have to offer, both knit and crochet (you can click on "Knit Kits" or "Crochet Kits" at the bottom right of their page to narrow down the kits). You might want to find your favorite for a very special reason, hint, hint! Keep reading to find out why!

Not only are the kits stylish and modern, but they include much more than most kits do! Here's all of the gorgeous goodies that were inside of my bags as shown in my unbagging video:

  • The Wool yarn- 100% Peruvian Highland Wool I seriously wish you could feel this yarn! It is not a typical scratchy wool. It is a super soft, squishy and thick/chunky yarn that feels like a cloud! There are no artificial fibers in any of WAK's yarns. 4 balls of Salmon and 4 balls of Natural, or two other colors of your choice.
  • 15 mm, size Q wooden crochet hook (this alone is amazing to have included in the kit! I use it on my other crochet projects as well!)
  • The pattern- I love that it's printed on quality, thick pamphlet paper that won't squish up and crinkle like my patterns that are printed on regular paper do.
  • Yarn needle- For sewing in those dreaded ends!
  • WAK tag- An adorable tag to sew into your creation!
  • 2 eco-friendly bags that you can use to store your blanket or any other items, such as yarn, patterns, books, etc.

Samasana Blanket Crochet Kit Contents
The Wool yarn is just too amazing for words. I fell in love with it when I saw it online, but seeing and feeling it in person? Just astounding! Each ball of yarn is much larger than it looked to be online: 200 grams/87 yards to be exact. My guess is that it's roughly a 6 weight based on its thickness, perfect weight for a Q hook!

What can you make with just one skein? Here are a few ideas straight from WAK:
  • TWO beanies
  • A pair of gloves
  • A snood (large cowl)
  • And more!

This is the type of yarn that not only will stand out when you wear your creations or have them on display in your home, but that will be a long-lasting heirloom piece that can be passed down from generation to generation, especially the blankets.
This quick video will give you a peek at the glory of The Wool yarn:

Isn't that a gorgeous aqua blue? There are over 30 colors to choose from in The Wool! I am currently making an afghan for one of my customers using The Wool in Navy. Navy is a brilliant shade of dark blue that almost looks like purple in certain lighting and has a beautiful yet subtle sheen to it.

The Wool yarn in Navy
The Wool yarn in Navy
The Wool Yarn in Navy

At $24 a skein,  you might have sticker shock at first, but it is worth every penny to have such high-quality, designer yarn that is eco-friendly, all-natural and made with 100% Peruvian Wool with no artificial fibers such as acrylic! If you've ever splurged on a handbag because you know it will last longer, is made of higher-quality materials than other handbags, and will stand out in a crowd, then you definitely should give WAK yarns a try! It's totally the same concept, only in terms of yarn instead of handbags...obviously, lol!

We Are Knitters' Collection of Yarns

It's an investment in yourself and your work that says, "You are worth it" when you gift it, or, if it's for yourself, then YOU are worth it!

PLUS, I have several tips for saving money on all WAK yarns (The Wool is the most expensive with 100% Merino Superwash Wool right behind it at $20, and just $12 for 100% Baby Alpaca and 100% Pima Cotton. Click on "The Best Wool," here to see their full range of yarns.)
  • Subscribe to WAK's newsletter here to receive $12 off your first order as well as a free pattern!
  • Click on "The Best Wool" here, then select "Kits of Yarn Balls," to receive a bulk discount on 5 or 10 balls of yarn!
  • WAK was kind enough to extend a discount to The Blonde Blogger readers of 15%! Just enter WAKxBB15 upon checkout to receive your discount. Good through December 30, 2016.
When I purchased The Wool in Navy for the afghan commission I am working on, I purchased a kit of 10 balls of The Wool, which saved me almost $50 right off the bat! Combined with my coupon code of 15% off, that saved me over $30 more! That is a STEAL for this high-quality yarn!

I will be sharing my progress on my various social media channels, so be sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram (including Instagram Stories), SnapChat (@blonde_blogger), Pinterest, and Facebook (maybe even Facebook live) for sneak peeks along the way. You can also see the many gorgeous creations made with WAK yarn if you search the hashtag #WeAreKnitters on any social media platform. Also follow We Are Knitters' social media pages by following the links at the bottom right of this page.

Now for the best part! Ready to find out what one lucky reader will win? I was going to wait until I finished the blanket and posted my results to do the giveaway, but who likes having to wait? Not me!

So even though this post is already long and filled with lots of great info and pics about this fabulous yarn company, I'm not going to make you all wait any longer for the best part! You all have already been patient enough just waiting for me to post!

Waffle Sweater Knit Kit
Waffle Sweater Knit Kit

So without further ado, I present the AMAZING prize that We Are Knitters is offering to one lucky reader of The Blonde Blogger! Remember all of the fabulous crochet and knit kits you checked out on WAK's site? And remember how I told you to choose your favorite one?

Buttercream Sweater Knit Kit
Buttercream Sweater Knit Kit
That's because We Are Knitters has generously offered to give one lucky reader of The Blonde Blogger the choice of their favorite kit for FREE (up to a value of $100 and within the contiguous United States only. At this time, We are Knitters does not ship to Alaska or Hawaii, so those states are ineligible. So very sorry!)

Kari Blanket Crochet Kit

Kari Blanket Crochet Kit


Who's ready to get their crochet or knitting on?! And who's ready to do it with the premium Chanel of Yarns, We Are Knitters?! FOR FREE!

Plow Cushion Crochet Kit

Plow Cushion Kit

Get going and enter via the Rafflecopter widget below! The giveaway will run until Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 12:00 am, EST. Winner will be notified via email and on The Blonde Blogger on the Rafflecopter widget. Winner has 2 weeks to respond to winning notification, or else they forfeit their prize and another winner will be selected.

By entering, you automatically agree to all of the rules and disclaimers listed here. Please also see my disclosure policy here. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Rootflage Revisited! Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received a complimentary 3-pack of Rootflage Temporary Root Touch-Up to facilitate this review, but as always, opinions expressed are all my own and are not influenced by complimentary products and/or payment.

Lucy Williamson O'Quinn, Founder and Owner of Rootflage
As you have probably noticed, I have been on a bit of a hiatus due to ongoing, debilitating health issues. I am still struggling with some symptoms but my endometriosis pain is now under control thanks to my latest surgery. So what better way to celebrate than a review of a fabulous product AND a giveaway to one lucky reader!

I truly want to thank those of my readers who haven't given up on me and still visit whenever I post! And much to my surprise, it seems none of you have left me because the moment I post, my stats show that you all come to read right away! That truly means the world to me so I hope this fun review and giveaway will show you how thankful I am for each and every one of you!

I wanted my first re-launch giveaway to be a good one, and one that exemplifies my celebrating my new lease on life! So, without further ado, meet the new and improved Rootflage!

Rootflage started out as a temporary root touch-up powder for blondes only when I last reviewed the product back in 2013. My, oh my, wait until you see what has changed since then, guys!!!

Now, everyone gets to enjoy the benefits of Rootflage, no matter their hair color! Click here to see how many colors are offered! (Scroll down to "Find Your Color." There are now 21 shades available!)

Notice anything special about the last 8? Yes, Rootflage now offers us a fun, temporary way to liven up our hair and take a walk on the wild side with their Rootflage Renegade line! Bright, playful colors like pink Cotton Candy to Dragon Green to Peacock Blue and my favorite (because of the color AND the name which pays homage to the late epic rock star Prince), Purple Reign, all scream my name every time I look at them! I think these colors may be the perfect way for me to dress up for my favorite hobby....concert going!

Rootflage is so quick and easy to apply, perfect for habitually late people such as myself. It's also temporary and washes out with each shampoo so you can go back to your non-wild, non-Ethereal Blue self when you need to with just one wash! Click any of the 21 colors to see before and after pics that really showcase how well Rootflage works at hiding roots or livening up your color!

The mineral-based powder contains no harsh chemicals (see ingredients here). Rootflage doubles as a dry shampoo, adds body, gives volume to thinning hair, and saves you money by covering roots in between hair colorings so you can wait longer to hit the salon.

Best of all, you can try it risk-free! Not happy with the color you chose? Just contact Rootflage and they will help you find a different one! Not happy with the product overall? Just contact Rootflage for a full refund!  I don't see that happening judging from how much I love it, but Rootflage is confident enough in their product to put a no-risk guarantee behind it!

If you're not sure what color to start with, you can order a sample size to start, and/or let Rootflage color-match you personally! How's that for customer service?!

Even the packaging has improved! I'm loving the new pink brushes!

And just how did this Rootflage craze all start? You can toss all the "dumb blonde" jokes out the window after you hear how Lucy Williamson O'Quinn, a beautiful, blonde, Southern California native, started with a very not-dumb idea and turned it into an amazingly successful company in just three years that meets the needs of those with any hair color and has the beauty blogger community buzzing!

Here's the story of the roots (Ha! Pun intended) of Rootflage from

Creator Lucy Williamson O'Quinn went to the beauty supply store in 2012 and left in awe when she found there was no product that worked well for blondes to cover their roots between salon appointments. As a lightbulb appeared over her head, she realized something must be done, and she was just the girl to do it. The mission of Rootflage is to help women quickly, easily and affordably extend the life of their hair color between salon appointments. Rootflage got it’s start with offering blonde root touch up colors. Lucy later added more colors to her line so her brunette and red head friends can save time and money too!

Brilliant! Personally, I have been using Rootflage in Warm Blonde since it launched in 2013, and it has saved me from some embarrassing "way overdue for coloring" bad hair days! In case you missed it in my last post, here are my before and after photos showing just how well Rootflage covers ("before" on the left sides, "after" on the right sides):

Just how do you use Rootflage? Check out these simple instructions, and/or watch this quick video:

I promise it's not complicated! You really can just apply, blend and go!

My top usage tip? Be sure to pull up the black, inner sleeve when putting your Rootflage away. This will protect the pink bristles and keep them from bending/kinking. I learned this the hard way, so make sure you don't skip this step to keep your Rootflage looking as cool as it did on day 1!

Check out more photos and info on Rootflage's Facebook page.

Want to try it for yourself? One lucky reader of will receive this 2-pack of Rootflage in the color of their choice, along with the "so cute I can't even" ipsy makeup bag. The winner will also receive a personalized color match session with Rootflage to help select their optimum color...approximately a $60 value!

I also have an exclusive coupon code just for The Blonde Blogger readers! Simply enter "Blondeblogger" at checkout to receive 20% off your total Rootflage purchase (offer expires August 31, 2016)! There's also, at the time of writing this post, a deal for 2 bottles at $39.99! Add your 20% discount and that's a lot of Rootflage for a steal!

To enter the giveaway, follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below. There are several methods for entry as stated on the Rafflecopter widget, such as commenting on this post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Entry deadline is 12:00 am on Friday, May 27, 2016. Sorry, but the contest is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only. By entering, you automatically agree to all the rules and disclaimers listed here. Please also see my disclosure policy here.

Good luck!


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Real Handbags of Melbourne - Review of the iGambol "NoHands" Handbag Collection by Real Housewives of Melbourne Reality Star Gamble Breaux

Disclosure: I received a complimentary iGambol handbag to facilitate this review. As always, opinions expressed are mine alone and are never influenced by comp products.

I am a huge fan of the hit Bravo series Real  Housewives of ...(Orange County, Beverly Hills, New York and Melbourne are my favorites out of the entire series). Real Housewives of Melbourne is the newest of the franchise to have aired and I immediately became a fan of the beautiful Gamble Breaux, especially her sense of style and fashion. She is very boho chic and I have coveted many of the outfits she has worn on the show.

So when I discovered that Gamble has a line of handbags that she herself designed, I just had to reach out to her to request a review.

Gamble sent me her gorgeous, metallic gold "Bling Bling" bag right away!

Gamble's line of handbags is called the iGambol Holster Collection. The bags are unique in their design in that they allow the wearer to be "hands free" as the bags are worn across both shoulders.

iGambol Holster Handbag in Lizard Skin Photo credit:

Here's the official description from

"The iGambol holster bag crosses over the back to accentuate the shoulders, leaving your hands free. You don't have to put it down whether your taking a powder or bopping on the dance floor. Holds your keys, cash, phone and basic make-up without holding you down."


The bags come in Pink Ostrich, Zebra, Silver, Black, Lizard Skin, Gold, White and Red Zebra. .

The Gold "Bling Bling" bag (how did she know how much I love bling?! lol) is leather like the rest of the iGambol collection and features beige leather lining.

The iGambol Gold "Bling Bling"Handbag Collage made using photos from

The iGambol Handbag in Zebra
Collage made using photos from

The iGambol Handbag in Silver
Collage made using photos from

The iGambol Handbag in Black
Collage made using photos from

My gold "Bling Bling" bag is lightweight and is perfect for holding smaller items such as lip gloss, credit cards, ID, compact mirror, etc. It's better suited for a night out on the town or a fancy dinner, though Gamble did offer another perfect walking! She even included bags for picking up after my pup Sophie. Why not walk your dog in style? The holster bags are perfect for holding the doggie waste bags (before use of course!) and doggie treats!

Me wearing the iGambol Gold Bling Bling Holster Bag

The iGambol Gold Bling Bling Holster Bag - Back View

Genuine Leather with Gorgeous Gold Sheen!

Check out the full line of bags on Ordering information can be found on the website.
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