Category Archives: Catholicism

Facebook Virtual Oil Party and YOU are invited!


Please join me in my very first Young Living Facebook class! I would love if you would support me and just check it out! It begins at 7pm eastern tomorrow and runs through Monday! I will put up all the info tomorrow night and you can pop in at your leisure today through Monday and learn about Young Living. I have some free oils i will be giving away and another secret cool thing that I can’t tell you about until tomorrow. Simply click on the picture below and JOIN!  With huge thanks and appreciation, Michelle


I’m an OILY girl!


Lav Facebook Cover Photo with my info

Hello blogospere!  It’s been such a long time…I had even forgotten my password to get into my blog.  Sad.  I have missed blogging and I can’t believe I’ve let it go for so long.  I am going to make it a priority to blog at least 2 x a month.  So…what’s been going on with me these days?

I have been introduced to essential oils!  And…I’m kinda nutty crazy for them!  I have been a user of Lavender oil and Peppermint oil for years but never really strayed too far from those “Swiss Army Knives” of oils. I used the Lavender to promote sleep and the Peppermint for the banging in my noggin.

I have always been drawn to beautiful aromas.    Just recently I decided to take the plunge into this new world and go all out.  I truly believe that the medical system and medicines are failing us and actually causing more ailments.  Don’t get me started on Big Pharma. Not going to get into that here.  Not going to get deep or political.   My chosen company (after months of research) for purchasing my oils and supplements is Young Living.  Check out my website HERE and if you want to…Like my Facebook Group I NEED AN OIL CHANGE to see more of what I’m up to!  I definitely needed an oil change.  Now, I consider myself Essentially spOILed!  I am thrilled to be able to offer these oils and I’m loving the benefits I am experiencing with my health.  And no…I’m not going all “New Agey or Hippy”.  I know who heals.  But HE provided us with the means to do it. Here’s an excerpt from a book I’m reading called Healing Oils of the Bible by David Stewart Ph.D.

 Oils of the bible exerpt

Contact me if you have any questions or want to chat.

Blessings and love to you all!  Michelle

Have Your Best Lent Ever


I’m so excited about Lent this year!  We as Catholics are so lucky!  I just couldn’t imagine being a part of a church that did not observe Lent.  This year, I am going WAY deep.  Last year I was disappointed in myself and I really did not have a good Lent. I’m making up for it this year.  Let me share with you what I’m doing!

  • Daily Rosary (yep. this.)
  • I am not buying anything I do not need.  I have to Really need something to buy it.  I will not buy things I WANT.  Not things I desire.  I will not try to convince myself that I “need” art supplies, more planner supplies, more makeup, more clothing, more online art classes, more STUFF.  I do not.  Truly.  I do not.
  • Frequent visits our Adoration Chapel
  • Morning devotions.

There are several devotions that I’m signed up to receive via email.  I’m stunned at how many there are out there.  Many new organizations and programs have popped up on my radar!

  1. Matthew Kelly’s organization Dynamic Catholic is doing a series for Lent called “Best Lent Ever” I have admired Matthew for many years, read and listened to all of his books and teachings.  He’s amazing.

Join Matthew Kelly, the best-selling Catholic author in America, on a life-changing journey through your Best Lent Ever. Each week, participants will receive short videos and inspiration from Matthew that explain the genius of Catholicism and empower them to become the best-version-of-themselves. It’s simple and completely FREE, the only cost is your commitment to live better each day this Lent.

2. Chris Stefanick at Real Life Catholic is also doing a Lenten “retreat” series called “The Way Retreat.”  Sign up here   Click SUBSCRIBE in the upper left hand corner.  LENT.  IT’S WHAT JESUS DOES. (Love that!)

3. Father Robert Barron has his Daily Lent Reflections (they are good!)  SIGN UP HERE

4. Blessed Is She – this is a new one on my radar screen.  I’m still finding out more about this organization but I am very excited by what I see so far!  You can sign up for their newsletter by clicking the Subscribe button.  They also have a Facebook Group.   LOVE!

We are here to journey together in our Catholic faith. As a community of women: mothers, wives, single women, religious, we are all in this together. Let’s build our foundation on the rock that is this Church and His Word.

5. Redeemed Online is also new to me.  Oh My Word.  This is good!  Sign up for daily videos in Lent 2015 at bottom of the page.

Lent and #ShareJesus are here.

#ShareJesus – the biggest social media experience in the Catholic Church is happening now.

Let’s get to hashtagging people!

Now, how can you NOT have an awesome Lent with these resources?!  We are so very blessed!  Woot Woot!  Till next time…Blessings!  Michelle


Friday 5


Sooooooooo!  How’ve you been?  It’s been a while!  things have been good here!  I’ve been doing a lot of art, bracelet making and learning new things.  These are the 5 things that have been going on here lately:

  1. BELT BRACELET MAKING!  I love it!  I took a class from Christy Tomlinson and have been very busy making and selling these beauties – take a look at some of my work below!  If you like what you see, I’d love to make you one (or several.  Christmas is coming soon!  Hint Hint!)  I’m having a hug sale for Christmas.  All bracelets, no matter what style etc. are $25 shipped!  Email me!  You can also “LIKE” TeaBags And Gardenias on Facebook to see more.
  2. WHOLEHEARTED! I went to Charlotte, North Carolina recently for an amazing art-filled, new artsy friend making, photography, creative, yummy food and company weekend at Donna Downey’s Studio.  I am still thinking about it and wishing I were back there.  It was so impactful to me!  Something that was on my bucket list that I got to check off.  The artist that taught us was Junelle Jacobsen.  The weekend was called “WholeHearted.”  I learned so much! Thank you Junelle, Donna and Bill for your passion, compassion and hospitality!  I will be back in May for Danielle Donaldson!  Woot!
  3. NEW LOVE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY!  I have always liked taking pictures.  I use my camera on my phone constantly.  I like to say I live my life in pictures and Instagram is one of my most favorite things ever!  (teabagsandgardenias is my Instagram account name – Follow me!) Lately I’ve been using my DSLR camera though and learning to take good photos.  Its a blast and I’ve been so pleased with the shots I’ve taken so far.  You can see some of my shots below.  Junelle took us out to a plant nursery while we were in North Carolina.  She is a photographer and shared some very good tips and tricks!
  4. SKETCHING & WATERCOLOR!  I have been so busy with the bracelet making that I had not picked up a pencil in ages.  During that weekend away at WholeHearted I got to renew my love for watercolor.  I’m not great at it by any means but I’m practicing my sketching skills and water color skills again and I love it!  I missed it so much!  There is not enough time in my day to do all the things I want to do and sometimes things I love fall along the wayside.  I’m trying my best to do at least one sketch a day.  Anything.  Little, big, simple, complex….anything.  Practice is so important.  I’ve come so far in a year.
  5. PRAYER!!!!!!!  Constant prayer!  I have so many people on my prayer list.  SO.MANY.  My list keeps getting bigger and bigger.  ISIS, EBOLA, friends battling cancer, unemployment, addiction, abortion, assisted suicide (Brittany Maynard in particular), other major health issues family and friends are battling, upheaval in Ferguson, MO, Enterovirus D68, I could go on and on.  It all seems so overwhelming but with prayer and the Lord, we are GOOD!  Please pray with me!  Have a great weekend y’all!  Love and blessings, till next time, Michelle

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Creative Girl Class

Hello, Hello my beautiful peeps!  I wanted to share a class I’m taking called “Creative Girl” – taught by Danielle Donaldson.  I’m really excited about this class!  I just love Danielle’s creations and she’s such a great teacher.  She taught a week in another class I took called “Studying Under the Masters.”  Her “master” was Georgia O’Keefe.  It was excellent!

I saw that they were doing a give away and just had to blog about it so I could add one more chance to my odds!  LOL!  (someone’s gotta win, right??!)  So…my question to you is:  Want to join me??   Danielle Donaldson is a true artist with a huge heart!  I love her style!  Can’t wait to learn from her!  P.S. I won “her” in another contest and get to be mentored by her!  Can not wait!  Check out the class description and the give away on this blog:


Danielle asked on a Facebook status post a few days ago:  “If you had to write a sentence about my art – describing it to a friend. What would you say? And if you could learn one thing from me. (Techniques and process, especially the process) What would it be?”

My reply was:  To me, your creations are: Uniquely delicate, stylistically ethereal, whimsically groovy, masterfully colored, mystically Victorianesque, and filled with story and meaning stimulating the imagination. What I would wish to learn: everything!! You rock!

I hope you join me in “The Land of Light and Shadows!” What do you have to lose?  Early bird registration $28 for a few more days. So.Unbelieveably.Reasonably.Priced.  BELIEVE ME.  This is a steal!  This class is going to be priceless!  creativeGIRLfinallogo_zps101604b8


7 Quick Takes Friday



1. Wow.  What a summer…

  • Icky weather.
  • Dad very sick.
  • No beach.
  • Pasty white skin.
  • No trips.
  • Pool only one time.
  • No barbequing
  • Pasty white skin – did I mention that?

BUT, what a fantastic summer it was anyhow!!!!  I immersed myself in learning more about my craft.  This summer was all about making myself a better artist.  Online classes are so incredible!  I absolutely love them.  I learned so much and I think I really improved and learned a TON!! I took several classes from my “idol” artists this summer.  “Paint Your Story” by Mindy Lacefield,“How to Paint Whimsical Animals” by Juliette Crane, & “HerStory” by Danielle Daniel and I’m also enrolled in a year-long course called “Serendipity” by Juliette Crane.  I also took an in-person class by the famous Donna Downey called “How to Paint Like an Artist.”  She came to a local scrap booking store called Altered Angel.   It was a blast!  My dream is to go to Donna’s studio and take a weekend long retreat/class.  Mindy Lacefield will be coming there to teach in 2014.  What a dream come true that would be!  I need to win the Lotto!

Here are some pics of what I created in those classes:

PhotoSheet 5x4 (Owl Fini,Serendip,C,9)

2.  Dad is doing so good!  He was diagnosed (finally) with a condition called “Polymyalgia Rheumatica” after 7 months of hell.  He’s taking Prednisone and it is controlling those terrible fevers and chills.  We are ever so grateful for all the prayers said on his behalf.  It just takes one determined doctor who decided to take ownership and not give up.  We are forever indebted to Dr. Stephen Szabo.  He’s our “Dr. House.”

3.  Join me and thousands of others in praying our latest Novena.  It will be to Saint Jude.  Saint Jude is the patron of Hopeless Causes and Desperate Situations.  Sign up here to get the daily prayers delivered to your email in box.  My father’s diagnosis came while praying the novena to St. Therese the Little Flower.  And we just finished the novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  What exactly is a Novena?  Click here to find out!

4.  There are only 67 days until Christmas.

5.  I’m thoroughly disgusted with our government.  All parties – don’t care who they are.  They are an embarrassment and a disgrace.  I will stop there.

6.  I am so excited!  I had someone reach out to me and ask me to give her and her granddaughter an art lesson.  I about cried.  This is part of my dream and it’s going to come true!  Very humbled and honored!

7.  Even after 2 years, I still miss my mom so much it hurts!  I think of her every day.  I talk to her.  I still cry for her.  And there are days that I still just can’t believe it.  I’ll see a picture of her and my heart will just plummet.  I have so many things I want to share with her.  I need so bad to hear her voice.


I lit a fire with the love you left behind
And it burned wild and crept up the mountain side
I followed your ashes into outer space
I can’t look out the window, I can’t look at this place.I can’t look at the stars
They make me wonder where you are
Stars, up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all, I know you’ve gone too far
So I, I can’t look at the stars.All those times we looked up at the sky
Looking out so far, it felt like we could fly
And now I’m all alone in the dark of night
And the moon is shining, but I can’t see the light.

And I can’t look at the stars
They make me wonder where you are
Stars, up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all, I know you’ve gone too far
So I, I can’t look at the stars.


Stars, they make me wonder where you are
Stars, up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all, I know you’ve gone too far
So I can’t look at the stars.


Surrounded by Cardinals


I love birds. I especially love cardinals. When I see a cardinal I know its my mom visiting me in spirit. I don’t know why but I just know its her. An instant calm comes over me and I feel her there with me. For almost 2 yrs now I have seen a cardinal almost every single day.

So…some of you know my father has been sick on and off since his back surgery April 11, 2013. Every month without fail my father has come down with the most intense shivers, chills, fever (101+) and sweats. Weakness, low blood pressure, faint, rash on face and dry skin, sick to his stomach, and some throwing up out of both ends. He has been in the hospital a total of 3 times not including the surgery hospital stay. So, 4 x in 4 months. Its been very tough on him. Every single time he’s admitted, they do extensive blood tests, MRI’s, Aspirations, never finding any infection or any cause of this fever. VERY FRUSTRATING. Imagine actually begging God for something to show up wrong so he could be “cured.” No one ever wants to pray for a disease or infection but it got to that point. We needed an answer for these crazy symptoms that came on once a month towards the 17th of each month. He will go through about 4-5 days of these symptoms (intense) and then low grade fever and then he’s better again but weak. It takes him a while to get back up to speed. Before this time he was doing so well. Out and about, grocery shopping and running errands. I was so happy for him.

BUT, It happened again this past weekend. We decided to take him to another hospital. In the ER an older, southern “good ole’ boy” took care of him. We all thought he was a doctor. He wasn’t – he was a Physician’s Assistant but he was as smart as they come. He had a great dry sense of humor, immediately put my dad at ease and he was really funny. We started chatting about what has been going on with dad these past months and offhandedly one of us said he’d gone Thursday to get his “EPO” (Procrit to help him make red blood cells as he’s anemic) shot and had chills that night and then full out sick Friday night etc. etc. You could just see the light bulb go off in this guy’s head. He said “this is presenting to me like serum sickness.” Never heard of “Serum Sickness” before and I’m not braggin’ – I know a lot of medical stuff. (through years of research with my mom.) He explained that he thought the Procrit shot was making him sick.

I have been fully convinced that the titanium that had been put in his back was the culprit. I thought my dad’s body was rejecting it. No one would listen to me though – they all though I was wacko. I didn’t care. The next step was going to be a special blood test and I was going to have it sent to the Melissa Organization for metal allergy testing.

Even though this is very uncommon, the doctors have agreed. The Procrit has to be the culprit….so what does all this have to do with Cardinals?

Dad was released from the hospital Wednesday night. I prayed all day Thursday for a sign that this was the answer. I prayed to see cardinals. I took my dog out several times Thursday and did not see one stinkin’ cardinal. I was devastated. BUT, throughout the day I did see my artwork “Pursue” right in front of me. I told God that just wasn’t enough.

Cardinal 1

Then in my hypersensitivity to cardinal spotting he showed me this one.

Cardinal 2

And this one…Cardinal 3 And this Cardinal 4one.

Cardinal 5Then I saw these two…

And then these.

Cardinal 6 Cardinal 7

And once again, I’m like…”Lord. These are all right in front of me. But if this is all you got, I’m going to trust you.”

Then around 7pm I got a phone call. “Michelle, what are you doing Saturday? Do you want to go to the Braves and Cardinals game? You need a break.” I said ABSOLUTELY and then a few minutes later…it hit me and it hit me hard. CARDINAL. CARDINAL!!!!! AHHHHHH holy crap! I was stunned.

I knew I had my signs. But our Lord just gives and gives and gives…He knows you have to “SHOW ME” many times. So today, after the doctor and visiting my mom at the cemetery, I took Jackson out. Wasn’t really looking for cardinals because I was bought in that I had my signs. Low and behold, 3 REAL ones were on the fence just staring at me. Not moving, making sure I saw them. Tears. Can you stand it???!!! True story. THE END.

Until next time…GO BRAVES (but I love my Cards too) Big weekend here in the ATL!!