Where you can find me!

Where can you Find Me besides the Beach?

Loving Coastal Living's main Blog is on WordPress- www.LovingCoastalLiving.WordPress.com

Visit my shops!
and on Etsy-

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vacation Tips for Summer 2011

I've been wanting to share this for some time.  I am not a travel expert, but here's some things I have learned over my time living in a resort area.
There are many Low Cost options and ideas to do when on vacation this year or anytime.  Many families have put off having a family vacation because of the cost involved in general, so my post here today is to give everyone some ideas not to neglect that favorite, well deserved time away with family.
Schedule one thing or event to plan to attend to while on vacation.  Many destinations offer a good handful of very costly events or special things to do.  Instead of trying to fit all or most of those things in while on vacation, try to book just one.  This will be considered your most expensive thing to do.  Some may prefer to attend an amusement park, go to eat at a fancy restaurant, or set this expense aside for that ocean front (or hotspot) condo/hotel room.  Whatever you choose, stick to your guns!  Don't give in and get off track, or you'll literally be paying for it later.  
Most cities offer an array of hotel/housing for out of town guests.  If you choose that your hotel is not your most expensive item, than look for these things:
*local rentals- many homeowners have 2nd homes, or exclusive rental property.  Some of which is terribly expensive, but some not quite so.  I have a friend that has an older small home she redecorate, and constructed into a 'fisherman's lodge'.  It is not right on the beach, but it is close to a little marina further in town.  She has provided adequate sleeping up to 12, I think.  Consider sharing a rental with friends, or extended family. My firends house is smaller, but it is stocked with all the necessary comforts of home.  In these cases, you have a full kitchen (stocked), laundry area, and living areas to relax in after a day of fun.  If you choose a hotel or local home with kitchen facilities- visit the local grocer. Buying up sandwich meat, salad mix, snacks, and drinks can be a whooping huge money saver.
*Look into hotels further in town. You don't have to be right in the thick of the entertainment- look for hotels online in say a 15-20 minute radius from the place you'll spend the most time in.  Worried it will be in a bad neighborhood, or part of town?  Look up the local schools in the area.  Good to their websites, and look at test scores, the facilities, etc.  Usually you can tell if you'd feel comfortable sending kids to that school, if you'd feel comfortable having a hotel in the area.  Another thing to consider is whether the hotel has free breakfast, wireless, or happy hour.  All these can be huge money savers.
*Check in the the old 'Mom and Pop' Motels.  Many owners have went to extent to remodel and upgrade these cool, nostalgic bits of property.  Many offer more than most chain hotels because they are privately owned, and many owners live on site.
Next, try checking and researching what the communities actually offer that is FREE or next to free.  Here's a list of ideas, you can make your own lists to highlight what you'd enjoy most.
*Birding Center/ Nature Trails
*Local Monuments, and good old sight-seeing
*Beach Destinations, Marinas, Ship Channels
*Local Arts Centers and Museums
*Local rentals in the area (surfboards, fishing poles, golf carts or buggies, horse riding)
*Local festivals in the area- try going to the city's website- look in their residents area under 'Arts and Culture', 'Parks and Recreation', or community newsletters
*National Parks and activities they offer.
*Look to see if there are local home tours- (many magazines have model homes too)  You can collect ideas for your own decorating style, and simply see such beautifully constructed local work.
*Antique Shops-try actually taking the kids!  My kids LOVE it.  I never thought they would, but they get to see things society doesn't use anymore.  My kids were stunned when they saw a rotary phone and as smart as they are, they couldn't even figure out how to dial!  Kids like making you feel 'old', and find new things!
*Treasure hunt!  Ever dabbled in Geo-Caching?  Google it- there are multiple locations all over the world- and it's something you can even do in your own city.
*Collect treasures- make it a point to keep shells, rocks, driftwood, bottle caps, etc.  When you get home, you can do a family project and maybe make a cool 'vacation frame' and put a family photo of you on the vacation.
*Photography- you don't have to be an expert to have fun with a camera!  Also consider buying a bulk pack of disposal cameras for the little ones.  You'll treasure those pictures, and sometimes the kids really surprise you. 
*Local Craiglist listings- sometimes it can provide some good info.  Check the community sections, housing for short term rentals, etc.

Now lastly, but not certainly the least important- HEED LOCAL WARNINGS!  For instance, if you're planning on making a trip to a coastal area, check the local beach warnings.  Just last week here on 
North Padre Island, we had 2 girls injured from rip currents, and one young 12 year die and drown from being pulled out in the rip current.  Talk to locals, visit the news website, etc.  This can be the most important and valuable information you will receive before going on vacation!  This goes for everywhere- locals are prepared better, because the simply live there.  Look at wildlife warnings, sea conditions, if boating, and other warnings you just may not really think about.

I hope this has helped and enlightened you to make the choice to take that well needed time with your family and friends.

Friday, May 27, 2011

All pending orders

Dear friends- all pending orders go out today. Got a little backed up from last weekends sales. Thanks! Lynnette

Monday, May 23, 2011

Please Welcome Naomi- our latest Featured Artist

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…" 
 ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

People always say that I am “talented”. . . what a weird concept. I answer back by saying that I am just not afraid to try anything! Sometimes, it works and everyone thinks it is great & other times it is a complete failure (and of course, I never show anyone that!)  
Latest Bag

I make use of the following outlets for my creations:
Booths at local venues when available.
Website:  www.sea-debris.com 
* At this workshop I also offer “craft” classes where anyone can decorate their own frame, treasure box, mirror or other item with “Sea Debris” (otherwise known as sea shells.)

What are some things that bring you joy or inspire you?

Walking the beach, meandering at an art fair, travel (to anywhere new!) and sewing. 

Posing with a hand-painted Messenger bag

Do you work outside the home, or are you self employed?

I am self-employed. My husband and I also work together in tourism and promotions of the beach town where we live (Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico). .

Previously, we owned a large family-owned & operated company. That experience left me slightly crazy.

Beachcombing for the Workshop

How long have you been creating, and why did you begin?

I began sewing when I was 6 years old, my grandma had a knee-pedal sewing machine and I could reach the pedal with my foot at 6!  I still have that first little dress that I made.

My Home

About 29 years ago we came to the beach here in Mexico and I started collecting shells and adding them to my funky jewelry & art that I called “gobbledegook”. I sold this at the Coomer’s in Phoenix, AZ (a crafter’s mart where you could rent a small space for about $30 a month.)

My latest Neck-Bib

I have always upcycled my clothing, finding items that were of great fabrics but out of style or the wrong size and re-inventing it. My favorite is what I call my Scarlett O’Hara dress which I made out of a pair of drapes that I found hanging over a rusty metal hanger in a dingy old thrift store.
Photos of this dress are at:
Me Sewing a bridal dress

What are some of your favorites (websites, materials, foods, books, other people’s work, etc.)

My inspiration for my retail shop came from a great website that I discovered.
www.shesellsseashells.com  Debi Beard is the owner & has a shop called “Out of the Blue” in California and I just think she has some fantastic ideas! 

My Other Favorites:
Music: Gypsy Kings; Pink Martini
Dance: Flamenco
Magazines: Altered Couture; Budget Travel
Books: Sea Glass
Author: John Grisham
Movies: Good Year; Walk in the Clouds; Passion of Mind
Off the Beach Work Shop

Where do you live, and do you hope to live elsewhere?

I live in Mexico on the Beach and yes!
This IS the “elsewhere” where I wanted to live…

What are some of your short term and long term goals overall.

I would love to get my messenger bags into retails shops in the U.S. They are so loved by the local ladies here. I get compliments about how practical they are for traveling. And I have ladies who buy a new every few months as I purchase new fabrics.

I also have a personal goal of traveling to Spain & enjoy some flamenco dance & music!    

Being a Grandma

With my Daughter in Iberia

Thank you Naomi for sharing your world with us!  You have an amazing spirit that shows through all your work.


If you are interested in being a featured artist on our site, or know of an artist you'd like to see featured, please contact us HERE

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Stunning White Coral Cluster

My latest: now available on Etsy.
Coastal Home Decor Stunning Vintage White Coral Cluster
Coastal Home Decor Stunning Vintage White Coral Cluster

Beach Bum Beauties- a mother/ daughter team

Welcome everyone...I'm glad you are here.  I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend and getting refreshed for the week ahead.

I wanted to introduce SeaShells Mother/Daughter Shop.  We've had it open for a while, but are just now beginning to sculpt it into what we envisioned.  When I began SeaShells in the fall of last year, my daughter, Mattalyn would sometimes join in and create.  She expressed some interest in jewelry, so slowly I began to buy here various beads and findings.  It has been a learning process for both of us, and some of our earlier pieces were pretty raw, but we together continued to stay encouraged, simply because it was good 'Mom/Daughter' time.  Over the course of time, we have expanded our ideas, and really reached inside to try to express what we love.
Starfish Necklace with Firepolished Czech Bead

Vintage Lace, Hand Beaded Bridal inspired Necklace

Light Lavender Sea Glass with Freshwater Pearls and Czech Beads

We are in working on new gorgeous headpieces, feathered jewelry, and of course sea inspired pieces.
Visit today- share some love.
Mattalyn is 14, and a very talented scholar in school, as well as a beautiful, fun daughter!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It time for COOL ETSY PICKS!

I love Coastal Decor, and this man, surely knows how to dish it out.  These are some fabulous metal scultpures I found on Etsy a couple days ago.  Read the artist's profile HERE
His shop can be viewed directly at  www.fishartdon.etsy.com
Here are my favs-

Sand Dollar Metal Sculpture Beach Coastal Tropical Art

Sea Turtle Metal wall sculpture Tropical Beach Coastal

Blue Marlin Metal Fish Wall sculpture  Beach Coastal Tropical

Actually it was hard only picking 3...make sure and stop by his shop and show him some love!

If you find a 'Cool Etsy Pick' send it my way.  Contact Me

Monday, May 16, 2011

Please Welcome Marilyn from BeachSeaCrafts on Etsy

My name is Marilyn and I’m married to a wonderful man for nearly 33 years.  I live in Fort Mill, SC, a small southern town in the upstate. I moved here 20 years ago to be closer to family and opportunities for my children. I fell in love with the area and wow; so close to the beaches. After visiting Hunting Island State Park, in Beaufort SC I was hooked for life.  I like to fish, go crabbing, beachcomb and find shark teeth and fossils.  I create art in many forms; like drawing, making shark tooth jewelry and hand painting sea shells. I create art from Mother Natures treasures. I camp and have fun exploring.  I love being organized.

After making so many shark tooth necklaces and shells for family and friends, my entrepreneurial spirit was surfacing. I started by contacting a beach shop owner and asking for a possible consignment for my shark tooth necklaces in his beach shop.  After sending a few emails over a 6 month span, the owner contacted me with an order.  Persistence paid off, I thought to myself.  Never give up if you want something bad enough.  I thought he might want to order 20 or so necklaces; he ordered 400.  I just about jumped out of my skin. Barefoot Bubbas is the shop and located on Sea Island Parkway right beside Hunting Island where it all began. With a deadline of two months, I immediately started counting shark teeth and started an assembly line on the dining room table.  A business was born.  A lot of late nights, but deadline was met and I hand delivered!  I now have turned the spare bedroom into a studio and office.  Who knew?

I chose Etsy as my venue to grow my business and to be with other artists for inspiration. 

What are some things that bring you joy or inspire you?
So many choices; it would take up this whole article.  Here’s a few:
·        I love to walk barefoot on the sand and surf and watch nature at its very best.  Beachcombing is so relaxing to me. There is such a peace in my heart when I am on the beach. You couldn’t be closer to God and see his finest creations and awe.  No other feeling like it in the whole world. Those of you that love the coast know exactly what I mean. Each new piece or treasure found while beachcombing, I am constantly thinking; oh I can use this!  I love camping and find joy in natural places. 
·        Drawing in pencil and animation is another love of mine.  I find that it’s amazing what you can draw on paper with just a pencil.  I use q-tips and my fingers for shading. Sometimes things just flow right onto the paper. Drawing cartoons and creating some of my own fun characters is great fun!

·        My children and grandchildren are so fun and such a blessing.  I have a grown son and daughter that are supportive and encourage me to pursue my dreams.  I appreciate them dearly.  My grandchildren are two girls and two boys….who live near the Alabama coast and always want to come and see “Nana”.  To see things through the eyes of a child again is wonderful.  I adore them.

Do you work outside the home, or are you self employed?
I work full time outside the home as an Administrative Assistant for a National Tool Company. I have worked most of my life outside the home.

 How long have you been creating, and why did you begin?
Ever since I can remember…I once hand gathered grapevine from the woods near my home once and made 100 wreaths to sell to a local shop when I was young. The owner bought every one of them.  So my business spirit was evolving at an early age. 

I come from a long line of very creative and talented people.  My mother is an accomplished seamstress (from pillowcase dresses to wedding gowns); my sister is an interior designer, my brother – a cabinet designer and carpenter. I can remember my mother making crafts and sewing most of our cloths and working part time outside the home in a craft store.  She always had something new to teach us.  From cross stitch to painting.  The drawing and painting was my niche.  Thanks Mom!

 What are some of your favorites (websites, materials, foods, books, other people’s work, etc.)
·        I love to cook outdoors over a fire and grill; especially fresh seafood and steaks. 
·        Don’t get me started on craft shops…The Hobby Lobby is big favorite. 
·        I love Amazon, and of course ETSY.
·        I love classic rock and music.
·        Riding my bicycle on the beach.
·        Relaxing on Sunday afternoon with a cup of coffee and skyping with the grandchildren.
·        Favorite book: Angels in Our Midst, by Billy Graham.
·        Favorite movies:  Forrest Gump – with Tom Hanks. I must have watched over a 100 times.  Go ahead ask me any trivia from Forrest.  Parts of this film were actually filmed on Hunting Island and Beaufort where I gather my shells. 
AND  City of Angels – with Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan. 
·        Favorite peoples work:  Walt Disney! He was such a talented man.
·        Favorite Estians:
·        Favorite Materials: driftwood, clamshells, conchs, sand dollars, paints and natural products.

 Where do you live, and do you hope to live elsewhere?
South Carolina, nothing could be finer!  I plan to retire in about 10 years and devote my time to my business and move closer to my passion…the beach!  Beaufort, SC here I come!

What are some of your short term and long term goals overall.
A short term goal would be to network and market more in my community.  Beach Sea Crafts will become a supplement income in retirement hopefully. How about a hand painted conch shell or shark tooth necklace in every household?  Wouldn’t that be great! 

Long term: Traveling across the USA with my husband and camping along the way.  We plan to travel to as many national parks and of course the beaches as we can.  Who wouldn’t want to see the California parks and the Grand Canyon?

 What is your most treasured possession, and why?
First, my grandmothers eyeglasses and one of her handkerchiefs.  She was a wonderful person who treated me like royalty.  She was a true joy in my life and I lost her way too soon.  I can still hear her singing to me while playing her old stereo.

Second, a signed drawing (that I drew) of Goofy at Disneyland.  I drew with an animator for a 15 minute session while visiting Florida. The animator “Ike” signed it for me, “great job” and I was in awe! He also took my picture holding my drawing inside the studio. Both are framed and hang in my studio. Touring the animation studios and seeing replicas of Walts studio along with his desk and chair was very exciting.  A life long dream came true. 

Do you have a religious or spiritual background?
Yes, I am a Baptist Christian woman.  I believe in angels and miracles too.  They are all around us; if we take time to listen.  Take some time!

It is so nice having you Marilyn on our blog!  We wish you all the success in the future.  Thanks for sharing with us all!

If you are interested in being a featured artist on the blog, please contact me here:
SeaShellsbySeaShore- contact us!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The end of my week...

Wow, I am looking for some good rest tonight, as I sign off the week.  Although my work with the blog and the shop does not end tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday represent my weekend!  My husband will be off, so for me TGIS (Sunday), and to you all- make it a glorious start of your week.

I wanted to share a quick quote I saw today to end my week--

"Not all those who Wander are Lost"

Here's to all of us who continue to wander, not looking for our way, but enjoying the journey along the way.

Good night all,

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Glorious End of the day...

Over my short period of reflection and growth, and wanted to share this 'perfect end of the day' sunset off my top balcony.  God has been so good to me the past couple days, and brought such wonderful people into my live.  Thank you all that privately communicated with me over the past 2 days.  You were each sent for a reason in my season of heaviness.

It's good to be refreshed and back to enjoying a peaceful and tranquil state.

I will have some new things to share over the course of this next week.  For right now, enjoy the rest of your weekend.

We will be featuring our next artist on Monday.  We will welcome Beach Sea Crafts from Etsy.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Prayer request

My dear friends ...please just take some time to say a little prayer for me today.  I'm having a rough time with many areas right now. Without going into long details I just ask you pray for me to be refreshed and inspired today. 
I had planned on doing a post today titled 'Thankful Thursday'.  I know sometimes it's hard during grey areas of life to find things you're thankful for- I am no different.  I know there are plenty around us every moment but today I need to spend time in prayer and rest.  Please feel free to post comments on what you are thankful for,  every bit of positive encouragement will not go unnoticed.  
Thank you for you all and giving me a day to reflect.  I'll be back with a good report soon!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shop Wide Sale on Etsy

Make it a point to stop by and SHOP!  First time SALE of this magnitude!  Don't miss out on this one.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday's Feature Artist- Raziela Designs

My name is Shelly, I am a wife to a dear loving man named David. We have been married going on 5 years now. We have to wonderful boys, Matthew age 20 months and James age 3 ½.  I'm a stay at home mom, director of Women's Ministries at Trinity Gospel Fellowship as well as their in-house graphic designer, and somewhere in the mix, I make jewelry and sew.  I currently have an online store at Etsy.com as well as a blog on Tumblr and still find the time to tweet and update Facebook.  That's a lot.

I enjoy craft venues. This year I will be at Arts Alive in downtown Jackson in May and planning to be at the 2011 Mississippi Pageant Expo in Raymond, MS come September.  I hope there will be more in between. 

I have people ask about the name Raziela.  It's a rather odd name. It is an Aramaic. It means “the secret of the Lord.”  I chose it because I wanted something that would glorify God.  Psalm 25:14 says, “The secret of the Lord is with them that fears Him; and to He will shew them His covenant.”

My boys bring my joy and their sense of wonder at the world around them is so inspiring.  My husband's unwaivering fatih inspires me.  He is such a strong man of God.  Strong women of faith inspire me, too.

As far as jewelry inspiration, I look at the things around me.  I draw inspiration from water, trees, flowers, leaves, etc. I also find a lot of inspiration in prayer. I have a lot of  designs to come to me when I pray.
Currently, I am not working outside the home.  I was laid of from my graphic design job back in July of 2009.  I have been at home ever since.
Gothic Flower Choker Necklace

 I started creating when I was still in high school.  It began as a reuse and recycle project for my Venture class.  Off and on through high school, I played with jewelry but never really did much with it.  In 2005, the church I was attending was trying to raise money for their building fund. I decided since I was doing pretty good at repairing my own personal jewelry that I could make jewelry too.  I was right.  Within the first week of making jewelry and selling as a fund raiser for the church, I raised about $367. After the first month, I raised just over $1,000.  And from there, I began making jewelry in my spare time.  In 2009, I opened my Esty store.  I only had a few items posted and never developed it until April of this year.  Currently, I have 77 items listed with more being added weekly and sometimes daily.
Funky - Hobo Style Handbag

What are some of your favorites (websites, materials, foods, books, other people’s work, etc.)

As much as I am on Etsy and Facebook, they would have to top my list of favorites.  I also enjoy Biblegateway.com, Michaels.com, and Kyria.com.

My favorite materials are mainly beads.  I am quickly falling in love with wire though as well as sewing and polymer clay.

Favorite foods would include Sushi and Hibachi, Mediterranean and Greek, and Mexican.

My favorite books would be more magazines I can draw ideas from like BeadStyle, Wired Jewelry, Bead and Button, Stringing, Art Jewelry, etc.  I do love books by John and Lisa Bevere as well as Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer.

I love looking at other jewelry designer's work.  I love Dale “Cougar” Armstrong's work.  She is amazing with wire.

Where do you live, and do you hope to live elsewhere?

I currently live in Pearl, Mississippi.  One day I would love to at least visit Australia and New Zealand as well as Israel.

Short term goal would be to get a good quantity of items made before the Arts Alive Festival on May 13th & 14th.

Long term goal would be to have a successful and profitable jewelry business that would overtake what my husband makes working as a manager at Chick-fil-A. I would really love to have a very comfortable lifestyle.

 My most treasured possession would be my family.  Without them, I would be completely lost.  You never know how much having a family is important when you are single. When you receive that blessing, you can't imagine how you got along without it.

I was raised up in Full Gospel and Pentecostal churches my whole life.  I don't like the idea of being stuck in a denomination.  I always say,  “It's against my relationship to have religion.”  I love my every deepening relationship with Jesus.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

At the end of the day...

As I sit outside tonight on my patio, I am truly grateful for this day.  I spent the morning with my mother, amd had a relaxing and tranquil day overall.   My girls finally returned from all their academic events from out of state & in state (but we have a big state here I'm Texas).  My son returned from his weekend adventure at his friends.   Although they were all exhausted amd slept most of the afternoon into the evening, it was so comforting to have them all home.  I look forward to my husband's next 2 days off.  There's always a sense of relief when he comes home from a long work week.  
I am Blessed.
I hope you all had a good end to your week and are excited about the one ahead.   Slow down this coming week and find the little things you're thankful for that may normally go unnoticed - you be glad you did!

Please visit this blog- I was featured on Friday!

Please go here:
SeaShellsbySeaShore Featured Artist

The Lovely Mary, has featured me!

Featured Artists TEASER

Shoreline Necklace & Earring Set

Our next featured artist will be Shelly of Raziela Designs.  Look for her tomorrow!

Happy Mother's Day Ladies!

Tribute to all Mother's near and far- for all you have done.  This is a little off for Mother's Day- but I had to share this.  Even if it helps one person, it will been all for the good of the kids we raise everyday.
Yesterday I had the honour to be a speaker at a local church for their teenage girls group.  I woke that morning dreading the event, mostly because my body was so sore and tired from my illness.  I kept thinking- maybe they'll forget to pick me up (I can no longer drive due to the illness), maybe it was cancelled, and so on. I truly wanted to share with the girls but it was as if the devil was fighting me every inch and not opening the doors to physically do the speech.
Soon the ladies from the church called and announced they had been delayed, and had to start the event a little later.  They asked if I could be picked up around noon.  Praise God- it gave me enough time to 'get my body' moving.  I arrived shortly after noon to what seemed like chaos.  I am quite an anal person when it comes to planning, and for things to be organized.  It was NOT like that.  I could tell the adults had 'lost' the girls.  Girls were going every which way, being wild.  While one adult tried to fix the dreaded chocolate fountain, the other ladies sat and complained about things in their lives, their husbands, and even their own kids (to which most of them were there in the same room).  There was a wedding reception downstairs, and I was amazed at the adults reaction towards the girls.  They said things like 'they're doomed, what an great way to end your life', etc.  I treasure my marriage- all the ups and downs, spending my life with the man I love.  These ladies had the right notion and intended the event to be inspiration and productive for the girls, although it was clear it had clearly lost that track.
I watched and observed.  Finally I asked if it would be okay for me to start.  The girls all sat- and I began to tell them my story.  I told them just a little over a year ago, I had a good job, made good money, and all seemed well and good.  I told them about that time I became ill- not just a flue bug, but something else.  I had days I couldn't walk well, could use my hands because they shook too much, had extreme 'brain fog', and was literally in terrible pain all over.  I told them of other symptoms to which soon, my old life was nonexistent.  Everything I had was slowly ripped right away from me.  I told them I had experienced this before in my life, but over the course of time would get better.  I explained how I thought I had the 'good life' before I became ill.  But the truth was, I worked way too many hours, didn't have a lot of time with my kids and family, and list goes on.  I began creating and doing my artwork when I felt decent, and soon the art became a kind of therapy for me.  I was later faced with a decision to either continue to feel miserable for myself, or to accept what my life had become and find joy with it.  I chose Joy, and Peace.  An everlasting sense that is practically unexplainable to those who have never experienced it.  I found small things, little bits of my day and surroundings that truly brought joy and happiness into my life.  For me, the beach, picking up shells or driftwood, listening to the birds, or the fish jumping in the water overlooking my deck, laughter of my children- all brought me this amazing sense of peace.  God has given to us freely many things- just like the old saying about stopping and smelling the roses, it is so true.  Find things around you that bring you joy- it may be different for all of us, but there's always something.  Something consistent, something God put on this earth for us to enjoy.  
They all watched and listened with amazing silence.  I told them, as teenagers and adults- situations and things that make them uncomfortable will always come about.  It was when you have an outlook and sense of Peace, that things will be easier, life won't seem to big for them to handle.  I also told them they all could be an inspiration to others by living a good, positive life- always looking for something to give thanks for.
We then went on to make some shell hair clips for each of them to have.  They loved the the little tidbits to remind them of the day, and something to make them feel pretty and special.
The rest of the event went pretty much the same as it had started, but I thank God I had an opportunity to speak to each of them.  I'm not saying they didn't get anything from the rest of the day- I hope they did.  It just reminded me so much of the need to stay positive, specially amongst our youth.  We are making the mold for them.  We need to watch we we all say, and how we portray life.  Who knows, maybe a year or so ago, I would have been the same as the other adults there- caught up in life, not recognizing what life is really about.
Don't let anyone tell you your job of being a mom is easy- we all know differently.  I tell my kids all the time, "If the only reason I was put on this Earth, was to be a Mom to you kids, I'm alright with that.  It is my honor to be your Mom"  My kids giggle every time, but I think they know it is true.