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Israel, Part 1

July 6, 2013 by Trina 5 Comments

Hello, friends!  I have Israel trip stuff to share with you.  Not sure how many parts this will take, but I’m thinking at least two.

In case you missed it in a previous post, my husband had to take a mission trip this year to complete a graduation requirement for Highlands College.  When he told me he chose Israel, I knew I wanted to go with him.  The trip wasn’t cheap, but we had to find a way.  Thankfully we had enough people contribute to cover half of the total cost, which was a blessing.

Israel isn’t a typical mission trip because it’s very taboo to go into the country on missions, obviously.  In order to keep everything “legal” we had to tour half of the trip so that we would have proof to show customs when leaving the country.  We couldn’t advertise that we were there for missions or to work, without a work visa.  The last half of our trip we volunteered at King of Kings Community in Jerusalem.  They have space in an old 14 story building in the heart of the ultra Orthodox area of Jerusalem.  The building is called the Clal Building and once served as a mall.  There are several shops still open for business there, but KoK is slowly acquiring space as it comes available.  When they do, there are lots of renovations that need to be made.  That’s where our team comes in.  I’ll talk more about that later.

The first half of our trip we toured with Dan Altaras of Sar El Tours (highly recommended!!!).  Dan was the best tour guide we could have ever asked for.  He’s a Messianic Jew who came to faith 8 years ago.  At only 26 years of age, we were all blown away and inspired by how much knowledge, wisdom, and insight he had regarding the Bible and Israel’s history.  I mean, yes it’s to be expected considering he is a Jew who grew up in Israel, but it still amazed us.  If more American Christians took the time to really study the Bible (myself included) like the Jews do from a very young age, I think we as Christians would have a better reputation.

Here of some of my favorite pictures from our first half of the trip.


Travel day, our group (minus the kids)



We made it!! We arrive around 3 pm Israeli time, which is 8 hours ahead of Alabama time.

Also, don’t mind me, I’m pointing to the people coming up the stairs that can’t get by because we’re taking up all the space.  I’m such a goober.


Day 1: Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea before sunset.


Day 1: Natanya, Israel


Day 2: Tour of Caesarea, restored ruins of an ancient theater built by Herod


Day 2: Having the best ice cream on Earth at Caesarea.  Mine was date, banana and pecan.  Dates (one of my favorite fruits!) are very popular here.


Day 2: On top of Mt Carmel. Dan tells us of Elijah calling down fire in 1 Kings 18




Day 2: Lunch, typical Israeli food. Falafel in pita, salad, hummus


Day 2: Afternoon treat, kanafeh from a bakery in Nazareth.  So so good.  I’m still dreaming about it.


End of Day 2:  At our hotel by the Sea of Galilee. It’s so gloriously peaceful here.  I tell myself want to live near Galilee.


Some of the girls.


View from our hotel at the Sea of Galilee


Day 3: We start the day with an early boat ride on the only Messianic Worship Boat on the Sea of Galilee!


Day 3: View from the boat.  Jesus taught on these hillsides and walked on these waters!


Day 3: On the bus to Caesarea Philippi


Day 3: Caesarea Philippi. Herod’s son named Phillip ruled this city. This is the remnants of the temple of Pan, an idol that many worshiped.


Day 3: A quick visit to the beautiful city of Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee.  At night, Tiberas’ lights are reminiscent of a beautiful necklace around a woman’s neck.



Day 3: Dan teaching us amid the ruins of a synagogue in Capernaum. Jesus lived here with Peter for 3 years.


Reading from the scriptures. (Us women had to cover our knees while in Capernaum, hence the scarf I’m wearing around my waist.  This was one of the many times we would have to cover up in certain parts of Israel.)


City walls around Capernaum


Several columns on display in Capernaum


Day 3: On top of the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.



Our group on Mount of Beatitudes.  I love these people!


Day 4: Enjoying our last sunrise on the Sea of Galilee



Day 4: Visit to the Dead Sea.  Despite its name it’s quite beautiful!  It’s also the lowest point on Earth at 1,388 feet below sea level.


We all struggle to gain our footing in the slippery mud covered bottom of the Dead Sea.  Some places were so soft you would sink knee deep.  You can see me clinging to my husband (red shirt) in the middle of the photograph.


We all hold hands and float in a circle.  You don’t even have to try to float, your body is naturally buoyant in the extreme denseness of the mineral filled water.  It’s so salty it turns your mouth if you dare taste it.


Day 4:  We visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were found and where the Essenes once resided.  PS It’s so hot here in this desert!


There are many caves on the hillside.  Once of which was where the first scrolls were found.


Looking from Qumran across the Dead Sea to Jordan.


Day 4: We finally make it to Jerusalem!


Looking to the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives.  In the lower part of the picture, you can see thousands of Jewish tombs. They are buried here as they believe that when Jesus returns, he will touch down on the Mount of Olives and they will be the first to rise.


Hunter Mae riding Kojak the camel.


We visit an olive grove near the Garden of Gethsemane to have a time of teaching.



 I have a tearful moment here with my group.  I love Pastor Keith’s hugs.


Our group coming down the Mount of Olives.


End of Day 4: One gets sweaty while walking all over Jerusalem, so after showers and dinner, we visit the Old City at night, entering through Jaffa Gate, one of eight gates of the Old City of Jerusalem.


We spend a good hour and a half at one particular shop, buying all sort of treasures.  Janette and I with David the shop owner, showing off our Roman glass jewelry purchases. Ring for me, necklace for her.


Late night shopping group.

I’ll end Part 1 here.  Hopefully you’ve enjoyed seeing just a small part of my trip.  I still have Days 5-11 to share.  Stay tuned.

One of our talented team members made a video of some of best pics, click here to watch.

End of the Year Teacher Appreciation Gifts 2013

May 20, 2013 by Trina 6 Comments

I always try to do something cute for the kids’ teachers’ gifts at Christmas and end of the year.  This year I had so much going on I almost opted for the easy way out with gift cards, but decided to give Pinterest a try.

I saw an idea to give soap with a hand cut out of paper taped to the gift.  On it was written, “Hands down, you are appreciated.” (Of course I can’t find the pin now…Sorry!)

Cute, but I needed to make it cuter.

Because I was planning to gift Bath and Body Works scented soaps, I wanted to add the word “scent”-sational.

This is what I came up with:



I purchased all beach scents to tie in with summer (and got a great deal on them!).  Next I picked coordinating paper, tissue, and ribbon to go with the “theme” of the soap.  The purple/blue combo went with the Ocean Pearl scent.  I used some clear bags I had left from another project and tied everything up.

The teachers have loved them.  It’s a cute gift with a crafty touch, but not time consuming.  Exactly what I was looking for!

What did you gift your kids’ teachers this year?

Misikko HANAair Premiere Hair Dryer Review

April 16, 2013 by Trina 1 Comment

Several months ago when we were still in the middle of winter, I was struggling with dry static-y hair.  I’d been trying all sorts of products to keep the moisture in, including argon hair oil.  Because my hair is so fine, if I use too much or don’t distribute it well I’m left with a greasy head.  I’ve been known to do both in the hast of my morning “hurry up we’re late” routine.  Most days I would do it right but I would still end up with static some days.

So needless to say, I was thrilled when I was contacted by Misikko to review one of their ionic hair dryers, the HANAair Hair Premiere Dryer

I’ve used this hair dryer exclusively for the last 3 months and I honestly love it.


First, let’s talk about the PROS:

  • I love the rocker switches.  I hate when I have to pause to switch between off/on, high/low, warm/hot.  Buttons that slide up and down are hard to activate so I love these rocker switches.  I don’t miss a beat when I need to change things up.


  • I like the COOL button.  On my old hair dryer you had to hold the cool button down and wait a few seconds before the air was cool.  This COOL button is a clicker button.  You push it in and it stays engaged.  It gets cool instantly and when I’m ready to switch back to heat, I just click the button again.
  • This hair dryer dries my hair faster than my old one.  Rayna has said the same thing and uses it whenever she can.  I’ve even caught her taking it into her room to use.  Not so fast, girl, that’s momma’s dryer!


  • The cord on this puppy is extra long!  Which is perfect for a salon, but is a bit overkill in my bathroom at home.  Hubby has mentioned a few times he hates it, usually after tripping over it.  I try to keep the majority of the cord tucked away in the cabinet below, but it rarely stays put.  It’s a tiny annoyance, but nothing I can’t overlook.
  • The cost, because yes this dryer is a bit pricey.  I probably would have never entertained the idea of spending so much on a hair dryer, but now that I’ve tried one I’m a believer that a more expensive hair dryer is worth it.  I mean hair is serious business right?!  Us women spend so much on maintenance (cut/color, etc) it only makes sense to use the best tools in between salon visits to keep our hair looking great.

So was it a winner?  Did it get rid of my static?  I was afraid to quit the hair oil right away, so I used it for the first few weeks along with the dryer.  Then when I was brave enough, I went without it.  Things went well so the next week I gave up my mousse.  Amazingly, my hair did better with me putting nothing in it and then blow drying.  I still use texturizing powder to hold my “volume” in place, but I’ve given up my mousse for good.  I will use the hair oil, maybe once a month if it’s feeling dry, but for the most part I don’t.

So the long answer to the question “Did it get rid of my static”? ….. YES!

Overall I am very satisfied with this hair dryer and would recommend it if it’s something you can spend the money on.



April 9, 2013 by Trina Comments Off

Well it’s definitely Spring.  It’s announced its arrival with the thick velvety blanket of yellow pollen all over everything.  *ACHOO*!  Pollen and allergies aside, the temperatures have been amazing.  We had a fantastic cloud free weekend with temps in the 70′s.  It. was. perfect!

I went shopping for shoes with my mom on Saturday evening; walking shoes for my Israel trip and work flats for her.  While we were in Belk, I spotted these striped tops in the Junior department and knew they would be perfect for Israel.  Elbow length sleeve and not too fitted.  I ended up buying this one and a mint color.  I wore this ensemble to church and grocery shopping on Sunday.



top: Belk, skirt: Body Central (old), shoes: Dolce Vita for Target (old), watch: Michael Kors, ring: Kohl’s, necklace: no brand agate slice necklace

This is a different look for me.  I’ve owned this skirt for about 5 years and although I love it, I have a hard time loving it on me or loving it with anything in my closet.  I wasn’t 100% sure I liked this top with it but didn’t have time to hem and haw so I just went with it.  It was super comfy.

I wanted the shirt to fit loose, so I bought a size up in it.  The material is so light, soft and stretchy.  It’s going to be perfect for my trip.

Linking up:


(Casual) Stripes+Leopard

April 3, 2013 by Trina 10 Comments

Here’s yet another stripes and leopard combo! And you saw it in a dressier version last August (my phone won’t allow me to insert the link, ugh). In this look, I opted to pair the striped top and belt with skinnies and flats and a more casual necklace.

I wore this Easter Sunday to a casual family gathering. We went to Easter services at our church on Saturday night and I’ll share that outfit later as it was raining Saturday and I couldn’t get outfit photos then.



top: Green Envelope via Marshall’s; skinnies: Delia’s; belt: Marshall’s; flats: Jessica Simpson; necklace: Premier Designs; watch: Michael Kors

I found out I have a hole in these flats after having owned them for years now.  I am so sad.  I can’t seem to find any other leopard flats that I like online in my budget.  Plus, I have to be careful about shoes because my feet are wide at the toe joints and some shoes can be plain uncomfortable because of it.  Trying flats on before buying is almost a must.  But if you have any leopard flat recommendations, let me know!

Also, can we talk about my wild hair?  I really don’t know what to do with it at this point.  I’m letting it grow out and it is so annoying at this stage.  The back has no shape anymore and the right side is constantly trying to flip out.  A flat iron makes it worse.  I just wish my hair would grow already.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at hair extensions on Amazon.com. Can we say desperate!?

Anyhoo, before I go here’s a photo of my kiddos and the bunch of us from Easter Sunday.  I think it’s like an unwritten rule you have to take a family photo on Easter.  My IG feed was blowing up with everyone’s family pics; I loved it!  I didn’t share one on IG, so these are exclusive! ;)



These are straight out of the camera, no edits.  Do you like my step-dad’s head photobombing the pic in the glass door? ;)

Linking up:


Cowgirl Up

March 27, 2013 by Trina 6 Comments

Today’s look is very different from what I normally wear. There’s four things going on here that you typically won’t see me sporting:  a ponytail, long earrings, button up shirts, and plaid.

A coworker of mine brought a few things to work that her daughter didn’t want anymore and I snagged this green plaid shirt-dress.  It was from the Old Navy clearance rack and still had the tag on it.  It was a little too short for my liking so I tied it up, cut the belt loops off, and made it a shirt.  It made me feel all cowgirl, so I pulled my hair back into a pony and added the boots.  (read to the end for a surprise visit from my mini me!)

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shirt/shirt-dress: Old Navy {similar}; tank: Target; jeans: Marc Alan; boots: Justin; bracelets: gifted; watch: Michael Kors; earrings and ring: Premier Designs

I normally wait until sunset to take my photos, but because I had to take them earlier this week the sun wasn’t quite right.  The top photo wasn’t the best color or quality of the bunch, but turned out to be the best overall.  To make up for it, I’ve added two more close ups :) ha

Because Rayna was wearing her boots that day too, I took her pic for the blog.  I thought she looked presh.


hair: braid waves; cropped sweater: Kiddo by Katie from Marshall’s; tank: Justice from Marshall’s; skinnies: Marshall’s; boots: Target

Hope you like our look!  Do you like wearing western style boots?

Linking up: