My Choice Monday

A Christmas Giveaway!

Monday

Happy Monday Folks!

This post is short, but SWEET – It’s a link to our 2015 Christmas Giveaway!! We have partnered with Amazon to bring you a wonderful faith-building Christmas gift, and all you have to do is click the link, watch a really awesome Christmas video and enter to win – That’s it!!! You can enter as many times as you would like between now and Friday, December 18th!!

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Click The Nativity Scene To Enter To Win!

(If that doesn’t work, try clicking this link: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/9c9643d8da481d5c)

Here’s the fine print:

  • Winner: Every eligible entry has 1 in 452 chance to win, up to 1 winners.
  • Requirements for participation:
    • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
    • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
    • Watch a YouTube video
  • The Newlywed Lefebvres has paid for all prizes, sales tax, and shipping. Entry requires an Amazon.com account. Amazon will ship prizes to winners. Winners’ names may be made public.

    NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Every eligible entry has 1 in 452 chance to win, up to 1 winners. This giveaway started December 11,2015 2:44 PM PST and ends the earlier of December 18,2015 11:59 PM PST or when all prizes have been awarded.


 

So there you have it folks! Click the picture to enter to win a very special Christmas gift of THANKS for being a faithful reader of our blog!!

Until Tomorrow,

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What's Up Wednesday

The Birthday Extravaganza Revealed

Wednesday

Craig’s 32nd birthday began 3 days early this year, on April 10th. After all the other preparations were made, I made his birthday cupcakes (shown here) and arranged them carefully with a special riddle/poem:

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When Craig arrived at Water Dog Kennels the next morning, he was presented with another clue:

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And when he met me at work, my car already loaded down with luggage, gifts, and a huge cooler, he got this clue:

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And then a pair of sunglasses:

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He jumped into the driver’s seat with a smile on his face, and I gave him a special mix CD 🙂 and told him to choose from the Saved Destinations list in the GPS “Craig’s Birthday Part 1“… And the drive begin…He still had no idea where we were headed – just that it was about 160 miles away!

Around 6:30pm, we arrived outside of Lulu’s On Main, which I mentioned here

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It was seriously some of the best food…Yum! And then it was off to our next destination…And still, Craig had no idea where we were going… This time he just chose “Craig Birthday #2” from the destinations list and off we went… 15 miles down the road…

wpid-20140412_112436.jpg…to the gorgeous and charming Balsam Mountain Inn.

The Balsam Mountain Inn has a very interesting history and the most “shabby chic” rooms I have ever seen! They are each unique and charming, and we have never stayed at a more friendly place!

That evening, Craig and I sat on the rocking chair porch, enjoying the scenery and each other’s company! The air was warm and the night was just breezy enough! It was truly a beautiful evening!

The next morning I woke up bright and early to surprise Craig with his next clue:

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{Translation: “You’ll want to wear this; I know you’ll look hot. But will it help your feet? No, probably not! They’ll be roaming along. You’ll wish you had four…as we travel on this WALKING BREWERY TOUR!”}

…and with this hat I had made for him at Smathers & Branson:

Craig was super excited about our little trip to Asheville & the brewery tour! We ate a delicious breakfast at the inn, and then headed out to the “big city” (most cities are enormous in comparison to Balsam, NC!) for a fun-filled afternoon!

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Craig found a cat in one of the shops we ventured into...
Craig found a cat in one of the shops we ventured into…

Then we began the tour of three of Asheville’s local breweries: Lexington Avenue, Green Man & Twin Leaf:

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…followed by dinner at a dive called The Thirsty Monk ( – chosen since I call my husband “Monkey”, “Monx” & “Monk” :-))

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It was a gorgeous day and we had a wonderful time walking all over Downtown Asheville!

The next morning I had chosen a church for Palm Sunday, and we ate a quick breakfast and made it to the 9AM Mass – Luckily, we were literally BLESSED with a palm! Then it was off to the next destination:

The Georgia Guidestones
The Georgia Guidestones

DSCN0927 DSCN0915 DSCN0916 DSCN0919And then back in the car with the next unknown plugged into the GPS…Fortunately, as we were driving there, Craig pointed out the exit for my office along the way…where his truck remained parked… We had to make a surprise detour into Dunwoody to  retrieve the truck, and then I hugged Craig and told him I would see him at home… 🙂

Where he received his final clue:

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Here’s his new belt:

And we drove to South City Kitchen in Vinings for his birthday dinner…

wpid-20140413_203546.jpg…where he was very surprised to find my parents, brother and our dear friend, Julia, waiting at the table to surprise him!

As you can imagine, we have slept like rocks since we returned home!! We had an absolute blast, and I would plan something like this for him any day of the week, any season of the year!

I love you, Monkey! 🙂 Happy Birthday (one last time!)!

xoxo

My Choice Monday

The Nativity Stones!

MondayWe have such a wonderful treat for you this bright and shiny Monday! A few weeks ago, we were contacted by a company called Nativity Stones, about doing a product review and a feature article on their behalf. After reading their story, we couldn’t say no!

Here it is, straight from The Nativity Stones’ website itself:

On a winter’s night over 2000 years ago, Mary and Joseph traveled the road to Bethlehem. Caesar Augustus ordered a world census to be taken and all subjects were required to return to the place of their birth. Despite Mary’s advanced pregnancy they journeyed from Nazareth to Bethlehem, Joseph’s birthplace. Joseph searched urgently for lodging as it was Mary’s time to give birth, but all of the inns were filled. In his desperation Joseph finally found a cave at the edge of town to shelter his wife. It was here, in the Cave of the Nativity, where the Christ Child was born.

Early Christians flocked to worship at The Cave of the Nativity soon after His death. In 325 A.D. Byzantine Emperor Constantine, along with his mother Empress Helena, officially recognized the site of Christ’s birth, constructing churches to commemorate the three principle events of Jesus’ life. One of the churches was the Church of the Nativity, which was erected over the cave where Jesus was born. The cave was then enclosed in an eight-sided structure and the church was built above.

Despite the following years of neglect, wars and destruction, the Church of the Nativity has always drawn faithful pilgrims from around the world. It is the oldest Christian Church in the world and continues to be a sacred symbol to the devout.  It was designated an endangered World Heritage site by UNESCO.

In 1963, there was a one-time excavation to allow another exit for the thousands of visitors who come to the Cave of the Nativity each year. During that excavation a portion of a wall just a few feet from the fourteen pointed star commemorating the actual place of Christ’s birth was removed.

The stones from that wall – the Nativity Stones – witnessed the birth of Jesus.  These are the very stones cradled in the Nativity Stone heirlooms.

Wow. What a story!

This company has taken these stones, from the birthplace of Jesus, and incorporated them into beautiful Christian jewelry & timeless pieces. We received a wonderful piece from The Nativity Stones, and I am so excited to have this cross and authentic piece of our Lord’s history – just in time for Easter! The cross I am wearing here is the Classic Nativity Cross – perfect to use in prayer, or just to wear as a reminder of the amazing God we serve and worship!

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And we have a treat for you! You, too, can have a beautiful Christian heirloom – and with a special discounted rate! Just enter the code “newlywed15” at checkout to receive a 15% discount!!

What a wonderful gift for Easter, Confirmation, no occasion at all! I urge you to purchase one of these special pieces! You won’t be sorry!

We also want to give a shout-out to a dear blogging friend we have featured before here: The Veil of Chastity showcased us on Friday:

Click Here!

We are SO BEYOND BLESSED with great friends and family and their prayers and encouragement. Thank you for your commitment to us!! It means more than you could ever imagine!

I was thinking just Sunday morning…SO MANY OF OUR PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED! Yet, so often, we overlook those answered blessings and focus on the {seemingly} negative things in our lives. God is so good. He is so faithful.

More on that tomorrow…

Until then, I am declaring that we may be…

Colossians 1:11-12

11 Strengthened with all might, according to the power of His glory, in all patience and longsuffering with joy,

12 Giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light…

xoxo

My Choice Monday

MY CHOICE Monday

MondayGood Morning All!

Welcome to the first week of our new blogging format, and to My Choice Monday! This week’s edition is going to be a little bit overzealous due to some great finds this weekend – Craig and I have three recommendations today!

  1. Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips I found this little gem at our local Target the other day, and apparently, I was unbelievably lucky. This product has been available in the UK for quite awhile, but is hard to find in the US – of course. At $1.99, this is the best  lip balm around – not to mention the amazing and light rosewater scent. I have found it works well as a base for lipstick, as well as over lip stick for a hint of shine. And that leftover bit on your fingertip? Dab it on the insides of your wrists prior to applying your perfume (adds longevity to your fragrance), or simply alone for a very faint but beautiful rose scent. Click on the image above to go straight to Amazon to pay a little bit more for a two-pack if you can’t find this at your local Target, CVS or Wal-Mart! It’s worth it!
  2. Handel’s Messiah                                                                                                     piercraigmessiah12713Ring in your Christmas season by going to see this unbelievable performance wherever you may reside! Craig surprised me on Saturday morning by hopping out of bed around 8AM, rustling around downstairs, and returning with coffee and an early Christmas gift – tickets to Handel’s Messiah, performed by the ASO, and dinner reservations – which will sum up today’s final recommendation. I’m sorry girls, but I got him – the most wonderful husband in the world – and I’m never letting go! 😉 Here’s a little preview of a chorus from the Messiah you all should know. The live performance of this brought tears to my eyes. If this is so beautiful here on earth, I cannot even begin to imagine the glory of the songs the choirs of angels sing in Heaven. This performance felt like a foretaste.

    I couldn’t find a version on YouTube with the ASO, but this is a more than adequate example.

  3. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar                                                                  craigdinner12713Dinner at Fleming’s was the other half of my early Christmas surprise, and boy, did we find a new favorite “special occasion” restaurant! Not only do they have more than 100 different glasses of wine to choose from, they provide an iPad to every table to help with pairing your wine to your meal – or specific course, in our case! Plus, (Men, I’m talking to you!) notice the prime bone-in ribeye on my husband’s plate. He did, indeed, eat the whole thing, and we had some happy doggies when we got home! Fleming’s is a ‘chain’, much like Ruth’s Chris or Morton’s Steakhouse, but in our opinion, WAY BETTER! We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and our experience at Fleming’s! Click on the link above to see if there is a location in your area, and if not, come visit us in Atlanta. We wouldn’t hesitate to return!

Hope you all had a great weekend, and enjoyed today’s recommendations! Join us again tomorrow for TTC Tuesday! Oh, and did you notice our new domain name? We are officially newlywedlefebvres.com !

xoxo,

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When In Rome…

Why, Hello There!

We are safely back stateside dears! I know you could hear the birds begin to sing a little bit sweeter when our plane touched down on Saturday evening. 😉

What an AMAZING trip!! Craig and I are so blessed to be able to have enjoyed such an experience! You can see ALL of our pictures (well, the ones from our digital camera) here. But I’ll give you some highlights from our trip below:

Peering Into St. Peter's Square
Peering Into St. Peter’s Square

Our first day in Rome, we arrived early – as our driver from the airport moonlighted for the Italian version of NASCAR. We took back roads, crawling with traffic and mopeds at well over 90 miles per hour. We enjoyed a breakfast at a small cafe near the Vatican while we waited for our bed and breakfast to open at 10am, at which time we dropped off our luggage and took to the neighborhood for exploring while our room was made ready. The photo above was taken while peering through the huge columns surrounding St. Peter’s Square, looking in at the Basilica.

That evening, after a LONG NAP to catch up on our beauty rest, Craig and I enjoyed a DELICIOUS dinner at Renovatio La Sofitta Ristorante, which can provide ANYTHING on their extensive Italian menu in a gluten-free version!

Pier Enjoying Gluten-Free Pasta
Pier Enjoying Gluten-Free Pasta
Said Gluten-Free Pasta...Yum!
Said Gluten-Free Pasta…Yum!

We also enjoyed a night out at Saxophone Pub:

Craig Enjoying A Beer at Saxophone Pub
Craig Enjoying A Beer at Saxophone Pub

The view from our room at the B&B was spectacular at night:

Room With A ViewCraig & I visited the AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL Vatican Museum.

The Vatican Museum

I mean...That's a CEILING - and not even the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel!
I mean…That’s a CEILING – and not even the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel!

My highlight of the entire trip was our next stop: St. Peter’s Basilica. If this place didn’t make your jaw drop, well…perhaps, your soul needs a check-up. I could hardly bring myself to take any pictures. I was mesmerized.

Looking At The Altar In Saint Peter's Basilica
Looking At The Altar In Saint Peter’s Basilica

We were so blessed to have the opportunity to celebrate Mass there that evening. It was amazing. I can’t speak for my better half, but there were tears in my eyes the entire time. It was that beautiful.

We enjoyed a sushi dinner at Konnichi Wa:

Sushi In Rome: This is what happens when the Sushi Menu is in Japanese with descriptions in Italian. Actually these were DELICIOUS!
Sushi In Rome: This is what happens when the Sushi Menu is in Japanese with descriptions in Italian. Actually these were DELICIOUS!

We toured the Galleria Borghese, which houses the original “David” by Bernini.

Galleria Borghese: Unfortunately, photos INSIDE are not allowed!
Galleria Borghese: Unfortunately, photos INSIDE are not allowed!

Until my decision to NOT wear a coat came back to bite me, we saw the ALMOST COMPLETELY OUTDOOR SITE of Castel San Angelo.

We toured Trastevere and must have walked 20 miles that day alone…It too was BEAUTIFUL!

We ate at a “fancy” ristorante called Il Viaggio (“The Journey”), and Craig thoroughly enjoyed his brandy!

My scotch wasn’t too shabby either!

We visited the Trevi Fountain and made our wishes!!!

In Trastevere, we saw St. Mary at Trastevere and prayed a very special prayer.

Santa Marie In Trastevere
Santa Marie In Trastevere

We also visited the Basilica of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, and my confirmation saint. It was a very special trip for me, thank you to the careful planning of my sweet husband. 🙂

Saint Cecilia
Saint Cecilia

If you’ve never read this amazing saint’s story, you should. And you can here.

Of course, Craig and I visited the Colosseum and the Ruins of Ancient Rome.

Colosseum
Colosseum

The Arch of Constantine
The Arch of Constantine

Absolutely breathtaking, and such an experience to be surrounded by so much culture and history. We enjoyed our busy time in Rome, and before we knew it, it was time to head back home. As our travels typically are, the trip home was an adventure, as well, and we made the 10 hour flight from Rome to Washington, D.C., and then raced through customs and the D.C. airport to make a flight back to Atlanta.

We made it!

We are now once again enjoying our little family, all home together: Craig, Pier, Daisy and Lucy – who is beginning to understand the importance of both sleeping through (most of) the night, and pottying outside. Yay! We are so blessed and so thankful for all of the many blessings we have. Please pray for continued blessings for our little family.

Tonight is C & I’s Movie & Popcorn Date Night for Mardi Gras, followed by Ash Wednesday tomorrow, and choir practice, and then Valentine’s Day – Our first as a married couple! I cannot WAIT to give C his gifts – which I had to hide (from MYSELF), so I wouldn’t break down and give them to him early. I’m horrible about that!

Happy Fat Tuesday to all of you! I hope you’ll all enjoy a big evening, before Lent begins tomorrow! Have you decided what to give up and/or add to your Christian walk?

Lots of Love,

Pier & Craig