Tag Archives: beauty

Saying good-bye to an AMAZING week!


good friends

It has been a wonderful week.

This was a vacation built around rest and relationships…

Exactly what we stood most in need of during this season of life.

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With our shared path forking into multiple directions in the coming month, this week of connection with friends and family was a wonderful gift before everyone embarks on their individual adventures.

The houseboat provided us the forced rest and stillness that is so hard to find in most other vacations we take. Rather than soaking up local sites and experiences, we soaked up sun. We moved through our days at a languid pace with no agenda or responsibilities driving us.

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It was a week built on simply being present,


And was such a blessed gift.

Much of our week was spent floating in the water with the sun warming our faces,


But we also spent time pampering ourselves,

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Playing games,

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Feasting on good food,

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Making friends with the local wildlife,


Toby came very close to accidently stepping on this copperhead hiding in the brush.


Soaking up the beauty of God’s creation,


Capturing it through our lenses,

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And enjoying the blessed gift of laughter with friends.


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It was sad to see our time on Norris Lake come to a close, but all good things must come to an end.

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On Friday morning we prepared to disembark at the marina. The boat had to be returned at 10:00 am. Knowing this, the kids woke early for a final swim and kayaking through the morning fog that had settled on the lake.

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Bags were packed and piles we gathered as we headed back to the marina.

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We enjoyed a final ride on the top deck, soaking in the scenery and reflecting on the beauty and blessings of the week.

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Then it was all ashore as we unloaded the boat and repacked our cars for the trek home.

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It was an amazing week…

Simply magical.


How grateful I am for this time of rest and renewal and the people I got to share it with!


Nailed It!


The girls and I have embarked on a new and exciting adventure together.

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A few weeks before we left on our Disney World vacation, a friend posted a video of her and her daughter applying Color Street nail strips, a product I had never heard of prior to that day. I watched in awe as she demonstrated the simplicity of the product and the video clip left me curious.


I went online to learn more and my time spent perusing the Color Street catalog led to my ordering some cute red and black polka dot nail strips for our Disney vacation.

We had a girls’ spa night days before leaving on vacation and applied our Color Street nail strips. We were amazed at the ease of applying the product and how pretty and professional the finished product looked.

We left on our trip and played hard for 3 weeks, amazed at the durability of our nails. There was no chipping and no wear. The only indication of use was the bare strip of nail that began to grow out at the base of our nails over time.

Short of paying for a professional manicure, we had never seen our nails stay so nice for so long, with no upkeep or maintenance.

Upon returning home, I order a few more sets, letting my friend, Erin, know that she had lifelong customers in the McCleery girls. She was pleased to hear how happy we were with Color Street and extended the invitation to move past being loyal customers to Independent Stylists, selling Color Street ourselves.

The girls and I discussed the possibility of being a mother/daughter trio and embarking on the adventure of running a small business together, in the midst of the craziness that is our life, and decided we would give it a go. Our thought was, if nothing else, we could supply our own habit in an even more affordable way (which is pretty amazing given how affordable Color Street is!)

If anyone is interested in finding out more about Color Street and the product we have fallen in love with, we’d love to send you a sample of the product!

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Here are 10 reasons why Grace, Molly and I have fallen in love with Color Street!

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 # 1:

The cost!

The prices range from $11.00 to $14.00 a set, depending on whether you are buying solid colors ($11.00), glitter, ($12.00), nail art ($13.00), or French tips ($14.00). From one set we can do both a manicure and pedicure or two manicures, reducing the price even more to only $5.50 a manicure!

# 2:

It is quick!

I love having pretty painted nails, but anyone who knows our family or reads the blog knows that we live a very busy life that rarely allows an hour of time to prep, paint and wait for nail polish to dry. Inevitably I get up and moving too quickly and end up with smudged nails and frustration over an hour of my life wasted on fruitless efforts.

With Color Street, there is no drying time! I don’t have to commit to a long chunk of time, waiting on paint to dry. Instead I can jump up, take care of a kid’s needs and return back to my nails without ruining the work I’ve already done.

It is an awesome product for busy moms who want to feel pretty and feminine but don’t have the time to get them done professionally or wait for them to dry when painted at home.

# 3:

They are long lasting!

Color Street advertises their product to last 14 days before needing attention, but aside from the effect of natural nail growth (our nails grow very quickly) we found little difference in how our nails looked on day one of the trip versus day 21.

This takes us back to the affordability. If your manicure only lasted as long as advertised by the company, you would still only be looking at a cost of $3.00/week to have pretty nails. Incredible!!

# 4:

It is easy-peasy!

Each set of nails comes with easy to follow instructions printed on the back. The process is as simple as:

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There is none of the overpowering, headache inducing smells associated with other nail products.

Although made from 100% polish, there is none of the smell or mess associated with bottled nail polish. This is done through a process where although the top of the nail strip is dry, the bottom is still moist, allowing it to be adhered to the nail.

This means that busy women on the go can carry a pack of strips in their purse and give themselves a manicure in minutes while waiting in a doctor’s office or sitting on a bus, without bothering those around them.


The girls and I love the wide variety of choices available.

There truly is a look to match every preference, and the inventory is always changing with new colors and designs being released on a regular basis. These 100% nail polishes provide base, color, and top coat in one strip in a variety of colors and styles.



With the introduction of new designs, comes another favorite thing we love about Color Street…

Their holiday designs!

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These festive nail strips that are released for various holidays throughout the year, are just the thing to bring a little extra holiday spirit. Gracie loves the St. Patrick’s Day nail strips we purchased earlier this month!

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Color Street is focused on charitable giving.

Color Street partners with various charitable organizations each year to design and sell nail strips reflective of that charity. A portion of the profits made on those nail strips are then donated to that charity. This is a win-win for these organizations, as it is a means of bringing awareness to the cause while also raising money for the cause.

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Healthier nails!

Another reason why the girls and I love Color Street is one not advertised by the company, but simply something we have noticed personally. We have found that by using Color Street, our nails break less easily and seem healthier. We aren’t sure what it is about the product that brings about this result but have found it to be an unexpected benefit of Color Street products.


It is made in the U.S.A.!

This has been our experience with Color Street, and these 10 reasons are why we have decided to embark on this small business adventure. If what we have shared intrigues you and you’d like to know more, we encourage you to check out our business page at:


Let us know if you’d like to try a sample!


Beautifully Broken


Yesterday morning Gracie and I took a walk. This wasn’t a fast paced, get your heart pumping for P.E. class walk. It was a slow down, open your eyes and see the world in a different way photography class walk. She was working on her assignment for the week and I went along with her because I found the assignment so compelling. It really spoke to my heart. Her teacher sent out this email:

“Many photographers take the easy road and shoot flowers, breathtaking landscapes, models, the ocean at sunset, castles, dewy meadows, children and ponies. It is the photographer with the more sensitive eye and creative sense who can find the beauty in something either mundane or downright ugly.  Examples might be the innards of a rusty, rotted barn, the ruins of a house with weeds growing from it, the haze of pollution over Beijing, or a wet mattress left on the curb.  These are the photographers that can focus, crop, adjust lighting or point of view to get delicacy and beauty where most people would find rubbish.” 

She was then told to go out into her neighborhood and find those things that would be considered an “eyesore” to others and photograph them in a way that shows their beauty. I thought it was a wonderful photography lesson as well as a poignant life lesson, so with cameras in hand we headed out to find things that were “beautifully broken.”

Here are some of the photos Gracie took of the “junk” around our property.


A pile of old pallets.

“Imperfections are beautiful.”

A rusty trailor

A rusty trailer

“I am like stained glass..beautifully broken but filled with light.”

Moss growing on a pile of wood.

Moss growing on a pile of construction debris.

“I do not aim for faultlessness in my work after seeing the most charming piece of painted furniture I have ever set eyes on in the Doge’s Palace in Venice- a captivating decoupage cabinet built in the 18th century. None of its lines were straight or measured and the paper cut outs were not completely stuck down. It was dark in some places, faded in others, and worn in parts but in the sum of these inconsistencies was a certain sort of perfection.” – Annie Sloan

An old, broken chair.

An old, broken chair.

A pile of old soda cans.

A pile of old soda cans.

“The practice of giving thanks…this is what we practice in the presence of God. Stay present to His presence. It is always a practice of the eyes. We don’t have to change what we see. Only the way we see.” – Ann Voskamp

A discarded door in a pile of rubbish.

A discarded door in a pile of rubbish.

“God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, and broken bread to give strength.” – Vance Havner

A bathtub.

A bathtub.

As we walked around the yard I was changed. The rubbish that I viewed as an “eyesore” became beautiful. What I was looking at didn’t change but the way I saw it did. We all have rubbish in our lives, imperfections that we feel need to be made perfect in order to be beautiful. The question then becomes, can we adjust the lighting, the focus, or the point of view so as to see the beauty where others may see rubbish.  Beauty can be found in the mess, in the chaos, in the imperfections of daily living if we would just SEE the beauty of brokenness.

“People often say ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and I say the most liberating thing about beauty is that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.”   -Salma Hayek