Wednesday, March 28, 2012

{a la} spring! // a 900 follower giveaway [CLOSED]



[SORRY, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY!]

lucia, etc.


So, I logged into my blogger dashboard yesterday and was totally expecting to still see the number '8' in my follower count. I never really thought I would get above 800 this year--but hey, I never thought I would get above ten when I first started blogging two years ago. I guess I was wrong. And it made me smile. :)

So thank you, friends, for surprising me and supporting me and following along with my words, my photos, my...life. Blogging is more than just a hobby; a random thing someone does because they're bored. Blogging forces you to find creativity in the smallest moment, it drives you to photograph differently--with inspiration. It takes time, thought, mind-perusing, energy, and most of all: encouragement.

You have been that encouragement, and I thank you.

So what do I do to actually show that I mean my "thank you's?" Duh! I have a giveaway, of course! And not just any giveaway. This one is big, yet not too big, has something for everyone [from the sweet tooth to the fashionista], and has some *ahem* pretty awesome prizes. It is all thanks to my sponsors, too, whom you shall meet below. Please give them some love; they are the best!

So. Read the directions carefully [ just FYI, only followers of "Lucia, Etcetera" can enter this one--only because it's to say "thank you" to my readers!], make sure not to riot in the streets or flood the sponsors too much with admiration [okay, that is allowed], and...let the games begin! ;)

// TO ENTER, or the basics // 

Leave one separate comment for the mandatory entry. Once this is done, you can start on the extra entries! Leave a separate comment for each entry you complete; one comment for each number. I.e., if it says "two entries," for liking me on Facebook, leave two comments saying you liked me on Facebook. Simple, yes?

// THE PRIZES & their sponsors //



{shop} {facebook} {twitter}

Looking for a spectacular piece of jewelry to wear to add to your "special event" wardrobe? Polestar can definitely do the job. This shop is sparkly + well-crafted + fantastic all in one.

And wow, folks.  Miss Jennifer is very generously donating this stunning piece for the giveaway:

London Blue Topaz Wire Wrapped Dangle 14K Gold Earrings December Birthstone Fashion Sodalite
[Value: $100]



{shop} {facebook} {twitter} 

Love pretty stuff? How about pretty stuff you can wear? Then Iola is the place for any fashionista or lover of amazing clothes. This shop has some sweet dresses, sweaters, skirts, blouses--you name it. Go take a peek!

..And for today, Miss Tali is generously donating:

Cardigan -Free shipping - Salmon pink coral top with shawl collar.
[Value: $59]



{shop} {facebook} {blog} 

Pretty yourself up with a gorgeous ruffly scarf from Miss Bessa Designs! Tons of colors to choose from, and each and every scarf destined to make your outfit amazing. I. Love. This. Shop.

And guess what? The lovely Miss Michael is kindly donating:

Ruffle Scarf in Light Blue
The Ruffle Scarf in Light Blue
[Value: $15]



{shop} {facebook}

"The Belle and The Beau." Perfect name for a perfect place. Um, this could quite possibly be my most favorite-ist [new word, right?] shop of all time. Gorgeousness. 'Nuff said. [hint: bowties for the gents, roses for the ladies..]

And can you believe it? The beautiful Miss Amy is generously donating:

The Belle- je t'aime ruffle bloom shoe clips- something blue
The Belle - Je t'aime Ruffle Blue Shoe Clips
[Value: $32]



{shop} {facebook} {twitter}

I am a sucker for cute bags. I love them. Purses, totes, handbags, whatever--if it's cute, I'm lovin' it. So Bayan Hippo is right up my alley--adorable, well-made bags. With ruffles. In heaven? Yes.

..And we are pretty lucky, because Vildan  is sweetly donating:

Flamenco in Carmine Red / Canvas Ruffles Bag / High Fashion / Shoulder Bag / Mothers Day / Zipper Closure /Large /Deep Red /ruby /cherry
The Flaminco in Carmine Red Canvas Ruffles Bag
[Value: $42]



{shop} {facebook} {twitter}

Sweet-a-holic? So am I. Terribly, yet wonderfully so. And "Bake All Things" is the perfect place to satisfy that sweet tooth. From muffins and cookies to brownies and truffles, delectable things are abounding.

Miss Gena is generously offering a coupon code for 20% off of anything in her shop! Just use:

20LUCIA212

..AND to satisfy the sweet tooths of two of my readers, she is donating these yummies to the giveaway:

Slutty Brownies -  Cookie Oreo Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bars
Cookie Oreo Chocolate Fudge Brownies 
[Value: $16]

&

Easter Candy: Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Peeps
Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Peeps
[Value: $11]



{shop} {facebook} {twitter}

"Supplier of Dreams" is an appropriate name for the darling little shop, filled to the brim with clutches, purses, bags, tablecloths--all lovingly handmade!

Miss Daniela is sweetly supplying:

Burlap Tote Bag Brown Ruffled French Market Bag
The Burlap Brown Ruffle French Market Tote Bag 
[Value: $49]



{shop} {facebook}

"Lovely" is a word that simply doesn't do "Four Hands Handcrafted Jewelry" justice. "Stunning" is more like it. If you need fine earrings, bracelets, necklaces--this is the shop to visit.

And today, Miss Anne is generously donating:

Big Gold Lace Earrings
Gold Lace Earrings
[Value: $35]


{shop}  {blog}

One-of-a-kind headbands, party decor, photos, etc.!  This little shoppe is one of the cutest things out there.  It is a must-see, I promise!

Betsy is generously donating:

Fabric Flower Headband -"Kerigan" - Double Flower Grey Headband in Smoky Linen
The "Kerigan"  Double-Flower Grey Headband
[Value: $16]



{shop} {facebook} {twitter}

Truffles are heavenly, and I hear tell that "Dot Shop's" are bliss. They certainly look it--and who doesn't love chocolate?

Miss Nicole is generously donating:

basic dark chocolate truffle///handmade dotshoppe chocolate truffles///
A $25 Gift Card to Dot Shoppe 



{shop}

Kick Drum Art is a new shop on the block, but it already has some adorable accessories. My favorite item in the shop is actually the one  Miss Rachel is generously giving away!


Honey Linen and Brown Polka Dot Lining Shoulder Bag
Honey Linen and Brown Shoulder Bag 
[Value: $30]


Thank you very much to my sponsors, once again!

---

// MANDATORY ENTRY //


*Follow Lucia, Etc. publicly via google friend connect*
[or if you haven't a google account, follow me via e-mail]

// EXTRA ENTRIES //


If a shop has a blog, follow it and leave a comment on a post telling them "Lucia from "Lucia, Etc." sent me!"
[2 entries per shop]

If a shop has a Facebook, like them and leave a comment on their wall telling them "Lucia from "Lucia, Etc." sent me!"
[2 entries per shop]

If a shop has a Twitter, follow them and tell them "Lucia from "Lucia, Etc." sent me!"
[2 entries per shop] 

Like "Lucia, Etc." on Facebook. :)
[2 entries]

Follow me on Pinterest. :)
[2 entries]

Add the giveaway button to your blog. :)
[found at the top of this post--5 entries]

Blog/tweet/facebook about this giveaway. :)
[5 entries per action] 


Purchase ANYTHING from ANY of these shops, and tell me what!
[20 entries]


So. I think am done now. But...won't you join us for this giveaway extravaganza? :)

This giveaway ends on April 14th, 2012. Winners will be announced then notified by e-mail, and will have two days to respond before another winner is drawn in their stead. Please leave your e-mail address in every blog comment, so I can find you as the winner easily! UPDATE: Some prizes may be eligible for outside the U.S. Enter, too, international readers! :]

Monday, March 26, 2012

and so, i forgive.




My heart beats wildly. I choke back a sob. I bite back angry words that rise to my lips. I just want to get away--get away from this suffocation, this madness; get away somewhere quiet where I can be alone with my sadness. It is something so small, and yet it has pricked me like a poisoned sword and unleashed my anger. 


I feel hot passion coursing through my veins, and I remember what it is—who it is—who has angered me. I cringe at the thought of their face, I imagine their voice, high and mocking, and it surrounds me. The noise of the house only makes it worse—oh, where is somewhere quiet? Why can’t they let me be? Why do I hate them so? I rush to my closet and pull the door shut, breathing heavily. Alone at last, yet—still that hateful face appears in my mind’s eye, the mouth scorning and smug. I despise it, how it has hurt me. And I whisper that I do.

Yet slowly, the rage melts away, as cool silence envelopes me. I lift my tear stained face from my lap and hear a still, small voice. “My daughter,” it says, so tenderly, so patiently. “My daughter, forgive as I have forgiven you.” The voice is silent, mild, yet it is slowly drowning out the mocking voice that still echoes within me. “Have not you seen my cross?”

I sit for a moment—or perhaps an hour, perhaps a year. Can I forgive? Can I forget? Not alone—oh, never alone. But slowly, without uttering a word, I give it up. I feel His strength within me, able to give me all that I need to let it go. And oh! My hurt is gone, the echo fades; He leads my hate gently away and gives me the peace of forgiveness.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 
(Colossians 3:13)

Friday, March 23, 2012

piddling about in the sunshine.



Mmmm. It's gorgeous out today. That perfect in-between-spring-and-summer temperature, the sun filtering hazily through the trees in the warm, dusky light; the distant mountains crisp and beauteous against a faded blue sky. It's a wonderful day to be alive, and a wonderful season to be reveling in. Oh, spring, I was wondering when you'd arrive!




I can hardly believe that yet another Winter is behind us. Just yesterday (and I mean this quite literally), there was snow on the ground, and a chill in the wind. This morning, the sun seems to have been reminded of her duty.

This type of weather makes me want to write poetry. Or sit at the piano with the sun pouring through the windows, singing to my heart's content. It's crazy how a bit of sun can lift your spirits.



...Speaking of crazy, that is exactly the word to describe my life right now. My weeks lately have been fringed with that busyness which you can't explain despite its all-too-true reality. My camera has even lain still for days upon end, besides a few captures of the spring world we are enraptured in today.

But Nikki will not be neglected for long; I am looking into purchasing a new lens for her. I'm pretty sure it will be the 50-mm 1.4, but I may go with a 70-mm, too. I just. need. to. save. Camera equipment is dang spendy, I've come to find. But I have several "ordered" photoshoots on the horizon that I need a better lens for, and thus I am scrimping with all my might.

By the way--if anyone is interested, I am thinking of starting up monthly advertising spots here at Lucia, Etcetera. I will get up a page, soon, but if you have a shop or simply a blog that needs a little love, rates will be low and all proceeds will go towards my new lens. ;) Just e-mail me if you're interested right now.

Also--I noticed with much awe and excitement that I am a mere four followers away from 900! Wow. And I mean, wow. I have a supercalafragilistic giveaway planned for y'all as soon as that number is reached--prizes have just been pouring in, and you will not be disappointed. I promise. There are things for the fashionista, the jewelry-lover, the gift card adorer, and the sweet tooth. ;)

So, if you care to spread the word, please do so!

And thus ends my little ramble about my utterly piddle-paddle life. How goes your's?

xoxo,
lucia

ps- calling all photographers! enter your best night shot in this month's photo challenge while you still can! *whispers* there's a prize...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

ireland and then some.


It's rainy and green today. Suiting, because today happens to be Saint Paddy's Day. Am I the only blogger in the entire web mentioning this? Perhaps--ah, well. I have always loved Ireland, so I shall dedicate a few lines to its holiday. 

What is there not to love about Ireland? The cliffs, the stone fences, the mossy fields dotted with sheep, the thousand-year-old history still preserved among quaint villagers. 

I'd say I'm pretty lucky (four-leaf clover lucky, maybe?) to live in the one state that is most like Ireland. Oregon is wet, and green, and pretty--without the accents and old villages, perhaps, but still as like it as you can get. 

..Nevertheless, it is on my bucket list to visit Ireland one day; to explore the castles and crags and simply wander as a globetrotter. And I mean, seriously: 
;) 

-lucia

disclaimer: that quote goes for guys and girls, just so ya know--I'll listen to an Irish lass just as long as an Irish lad. And I really never call guys "cute--" I just thought it was a pretty funny quote. :) 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

salt & straw. and other random portland things.


 

Do you like ice cream? Mm, me too. Pretty much every single kind out there, with the exceptions of Green Tea (bleh) and Pistachio (meh).

I'm an Oregon girl. More specifically, a Portland-er. (okay, so I don't actually live in Portland, but I'm about 1/2 hour away). If you don't know Portland, it's a beautiful urban city; very 'green,' very hip, and very health-oriented. Seriously, in the City of Roses (because yes, we're known for those, too), if you bike to work and shop at Whole Foods Market, you are majorly awesome.

One of the things I love about Portland are all the small, crazy cool yummy places. Oh, and I forgot to mention: for a foodie business, crafting local + being utterly unique = win. We have tons of little French-ish cafes, cozy bakeries, and, of course, creameries.  Like Salt & Straw.

This is a pretty random post, because for starters, I haven't even been to Salt & Straw.  But I saw an ad for it the other day, and was thinking, "Oh my goodness, this place looks amazing--" and then I realized it was right in my own homecity! So I thought I would post about it and file it under the categories of "filling you in about my home" and "things I love." A.k.a., "Portland," and "ice cream."

  

Salt & Straw is a pretty amazing ice creamery located in uptown Portland, Oregon. As I said above--I've never been there. But listen to this and gaze with me upon these pictures, and I think you will agree that this place should be on mine and your's "places-I-wanna-go" Pinterest boards. 

For starters, the ice cream is crazy, yet delicious--or so I've heard. I mean, here are some of the flavors:

Oregon Kiss
Ocumare Single Origin Chocolate
Catalonian Breakfast
Pear with Blue Cheese (not too sure about this one..)
Arbequina Olive Oil
Sumptown Coffee Cold-Brewed with Cocoa Nibs
Chocolate with Gooey Brownies
Lemon Basil Sorbet
Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Pepper
Double Fold Singing Dog Vanilla
Sea Salt Ice Cream with Caramel Ribbon 
Melon with Coppa

..and the list goes on. Apparently, Salt & Straw's ice cream is made with 17% Butterfat (helloooo calories!), churned with care "to be sure very little air is let in to ensure a nice bite," and kept low on sweetening "so the flavors can shine through." And listen what they do to ensure the caramel in "Caramel Ribbon" is amazing:

To take the edge off a bit, we've spent hours
over a hot stove perfectly burning caramel
for the sweet + salty combo that
you can't have just one lick of.


Um, yum. 

 
 

I guess all that needs to happen now is me visiting the place of glory. What flavor would you pick--or, more dramatically--what flavor will you pick when you come visit me and we go to Salt & Straw for reals?  ;) I'm thinking Big Hibiscus Sherbet or Grandma Malek's Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache. :] 



So there you have it. A little bit of Portland for ya. And just in the spirit of educating my readers about the places and spaces where I abide (because I am really and truly a real person and not just a blogging robot, in case you wondered), and in case there are some trivia geeks among us, here a few of my personal goods and bads about Portland.

The Good:

The gorgeous gardens. >> We have many--the Rose Garden, which absolutely stunning during rose season, and definitely one of our trademarks, the Japanese Gardens, etc.

The many running/walking/hiking paths. >> Portland is quite literally a city in the woods. There is city, and then, out of the blue, there are...woods. Trails are numerous, and I like that.

The coffee shops. >> I don't spend much time in these, due to lack of funds and the state of being, currently, a non-coffee drinker (though I do like it), but we have tons of cute ones. :)

The Bad:

Portland is the Human Trafficking hotspot of the nation. >> Just found this out this year, and believe me, you will never catch me walking around the city alone at night. Eek.

Portland is insanely weird. >> Yup, I wouldn't blame you for seeing hippies waving peace signs and sporting dreadlocks when you think, "Portland." And you will see numerous bumper stickers saying, "Keep Portland Weird!" ..if you ever travel our way. o.O

Portland is insanely and annoyingly liberal. >> 'Nuff said.

---

So. There's my little random post about Salt & Straw and other random Portland things. :) Come and visit me, whydontcha?

-lucia



ps-on second thought, honey balsamic strawberry with cracked pepper looks pretty sweet. wacky but interesting.  i wonder...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

march photo challenge // night. // + february winners


March. It's a month of winter-breaking-into-spring, fickle weather (at least for us Oregonians--today was sunshine + sleet), and timid blossoms. I'm not crazy about this time of the year; I don't like these in-between-seasons months. Full-force for me, that's what, whether it's winter, spring, summer, or fall--I just want one direct season.

No matter what the season, though, I can usually count on a beautiful night. It can be stormy, it can be clear, it can be snowy, dusky, warm or chilly, but night it night. And tricky as darkness is to capture with a lens, I love to do it.  And I want you to love it, too.


This month's photo challenge is night. Capture the lights of a city piercing the darkness. A bonfire illuminating a beach. The full moon rising. It's a harder one, and this time the winner of our challenge who best captures night will receive:

Rugged Ruffle Camera Strap Cover in Hot Pink 
A camera strap of choice from

Um, pretty sweet, right? Thanks to Mae Anne for generously donating this prize! 

So, time to get clicking! I never cease to be amazed by the many talented photographers that fill the blogger world and somehow find their way into my photo challenges. I hope you have as much fun as I do. :) 

---

Last month's photo challenge was black-and-white love. The winners are posted below--great capturing, ladies! If you have been following the polls on the sidebar, you will see that it has been a close match all week, and we even had a tie for first place. I guess that just means that everyone's photos were equally spectacular. ;) 

 
1st place -- Jennoelle

&

 

 
2nd place // Marie

 
3rd place // Neigh Girl 

4th place // Hannah E. 

5th place // Mary Katherine

So. Ready to take on the new challenge?


Grab your camera (or your computer's picture folders, whatever is most handy), take an amazing shot, and then come back here and link up your blog post, flickr photo, or whatever you want to use to link it up. Just fyi:

-"Linking up" means to copy & paste the link to your blog post containing your photo, or the link to your photo on flickr, into the linky box below. Just submit your name, and voila! You're all "linked up." 

-Please include the button in your post, or beneath your flickr (etc.) photo, give the link to this challenge. That way, others can join in, too!

-If you can, visit other entries and give them some support. :) Everyone likes a comment or two! 

Have fun--I can't wait to get started. :) This challenge ends on March 31st, 2012. Finalists will be announced soon afterwards, and we will all vote on a winner the following week. 



lucia, etc.  


-lucia


Thursday, March 8, 2012

backseat driver.

Driving 


Backseat driver. You know what those are, right? Yeah. The annoying (and most often license-less) personage who is best known for phrases such as, “go!” “turn!” “hurry up!” and “STOP!” 


All from the backseat of the car, a good six feet from the wheel. Never been guilty? Think again. 


Sometimes, life feels exactly like New York City in the middle of rush hour. Everyone rushing this way and that, horns honking impatiently at me as I lumber along, lost and bewildered and just wanting to get home. I'm hustled and jostled along with a sea of frenzied traffic, and then--all of a sudden, just as I thought I was getting somewhere, life comes to a halt like a red light blocking my path. 


 Sigh. Why does life always do that? Deceive us and disappoint me, I mean? And why are people always honking their horns at me when they can see I’m just as stuck as they are? And where did I take a wrong turn? And why am I here when I’m supposed to be…there? 


 Wait. Hit pause. Um, okay, that’s easy to do—I'm not going anywhere right now, anyways.


Shot Shows Driving The Retro Car 


 Something tells me that I'm forgetting the true purpose of my time here, on this earth, in my little corner of the universe. I have been so busy trying to read the map myself and pretend I know exactly where I’m going that I’ve begun to miss the whole point of this road trip called life. And guess what, Lucia: it’s because you were never intended to be the driver in the first place. 


 Uh-oh. Here stands a backseat driver, guilty as charged. And I had pledged never to be one. 


 


Friends, life is short. You know that, and I know that, but just the same, we take it for granted. And we make mistakes. Why? Because we try to drive ourselves through the maze of people and places and feelings and heartaches and heartbreaks, not knowing what we’re doing and becoming just as dangerous as a four-year-old driving a bronco. The halt in life that we merely passed off as a “red light” is really us overturned in a ditch. 


 So? What now? Simple. We can sit in the car with the airbags in our face, screaming and squirming and trying to figure out how we'll get out alive this time, or we can be still and know that He is God. We can put the mangled wheel in His hands, and let Him lift us free. 


 Jesus, drive this car, because I’m going nowhere without You. This backseat driver just let go of the wheel.


// all photos via pinterest // 
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