Category Archives: Beautiful Things

Finding Joy

Last year, a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her name is Pam. You need to know this part for the rest of the story.

I was in Dollar Tree and I saw these little faux stones with different encouraging words engraved on them: mercy, faith, truth… Now, my favorite word is “JOY”. Not everyone has a favorite word, but I definitely do!

I was searching for a stone with the word Joy on it and I must admit to getting a little frustrated. Then I found a stone with the word Courage, the only one in the box with that word. In my head, I heard, “Get that for Pam.”

So I did. As I was walking into church that Sunday morning, who else was walking in at the exact same time? Of course, it was Pam! As I gave her the stone and told her the story, she looked straight into my eyes and said, “You know my middle name is Joy, right?” Um, no I didn’t.

God helped me find Joy without a doubt.


Friday ReFresh


If you do NOT ever need a time to refresh, raise your hand.

Yeah, I didn’t think so.  My hand wasn’t up either.                  Every one of us needs and even requires a small self-care space in time. Even God rested from His work.  Your body and your mind will start to suffer without a respite. So, once in a while, give yourself a break and just take a break!

I tend to make Friday my break day.  I know, I know, I don’t have a full-time job or little ones at home. Does that mean I need any less of a refresh?  No! It is a perfect example of the fact that the most busy and least busy of us still crave more than a coffee break and desire some downtime.


For me, time in the tub is important. Granted, I take a bath instead of a shower pretty much every morning. The shower is exhausting!  My daily bath is not a relaxing, dreamy delight; rather, it is get in, get done, and get out. On a Friday ReFresh (which, by the way, doesn’t happen every week), I love to lounge as long as I like. I also include other pampering procedures when possible.


  • Facial mask/scrub
  • Soaking bath bombs, bath salts, or bubble bath
  • Dry brushing with a body brush
  • Deep condition hair (or recolor hair if needed)
  • Deep conditioning lotion for hands and feet on non-mani/pedi weeks)
  • Tooth whitening or oil pulling
  • Clean jewelry (this may not seem like it fits, but I feel sooooo much nicer when my wedding ring is sparkling!)

Occasionally, I get to add a therapeutic massage to this list. My friend Alison at Revitalize Massage Therapy is wonderful!  She is knowledgeable about tender spots and trigger points with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid syndrome, and genuinely cares about her clients. If you are in Central Indiana, I highly recommend that you look her up.


Christmas is coming!  A beautiful basket with some or all of these items, along with some handmade soap, a loofah, some fluffy socks, and a gift certificate for a massage or mani/pedi (or both!) would make a gorgeous gift!


Challenge Challenge

1905F528-9C26-4D0F-A92A-25B7D508D664November and January are major months for challenges, especially those challenges that involve social media.  Thankfulness post challenges, weight loss or activity challenges, and lifestyle change challenges seem to be the most popular.

I recently took part in a thirty day photo challenge, each day a different prompt.  It was creative fun and forced me to think outside of my normal lines of thought.

I would highly encourage you to take part in a challenge, especially a challenge that has daily objectives for a period of time instead of just a one-shot deal. If you need inspiration, check this out!

Stay creative, my friends ✔️

Declaration and Disclaimer

So many, many, many, MANY professional bloggers insist that any good blog must have a disclaimer.  In this litigious society, it does seem necessary.

*The coffee in this cup is hot.

*Do not use handheld hairdryer while showering.

*For external use only.  Do not ingest dish soap. (Hmmm, someone should have told me that when I was younger…)

So now for the not-so-fun stuff.



Everything Beautiful E311 is a personal blog. In this blog you will read about my personal opinions, experiences, likes, dislikes, faith, family, and ideas.  Since I am only a human, I cannot guarantee that you will have the same or better or worse results from information or ideas I share. I will write about what worked or did not work for me. If you undertake any projects, it is at your own discretion and liability.  I am not a professional, therefore you should consider your own abilities and needs, and get professional advice if needed.

I am not reimbursed or paid by any sponsors or companies whose products or services I review or recommend unless otherwise noted.  I share my real experiences with real reviews about what works and does not work for me.

I am the legal copyright holder of material shared on this blog unless otherwise noted.  Please do not reprint or distribute without my written permission or consent.  Anything shared on social media must include the website. I reserve the right to change the format or focus of this site at any time.

Your email address or personal information will not be shared with anyone.  I am not responsible for the privacy policies of any advertisers or commenters on this site.

That was the disclaim portion.



I am a Christian.


Although I do not write about my faith in every post, I pray that the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the love of God the Father, and the life-giving salvation of Jesus Christ the Son are present in every word, phrase, sentence, and paragraph.

I will not force my faith on anyone, since I believe that pushing someone to Christianity only results in pushing them away.  I simply promise to do my best to talk the talk and walk the walk in everything I say and do.



High Altitude Attitude Adjustment


Leaving Las Vegas.


What a whirlwind of a weekend that began wonderfully and ended woefully.

My husband and I planned this trip weeks ago, a getaway for just the two of us.  We are housing an intern turned youth minister on our church staff for the past fourteen months, and now we are also helping our oldest son and daughter-in-love with a fresh start on the right foot.  Our once empty nest has been full!  We went on a few vacations in the past few years, but always with people, whether family or friends. Those trips were still fun. They were still memorable. We simply needed some time to simply be with each other.  It was a happy vacation…until Sunday night.


We flew out on Monday morning after the Sunday evening massacre. On the flight home, an older gentleman sat in the seat behind me. He was chatty, and liked to accentuate each word or phrase with a hearty thwack on the back of my seat. This went on for some time, jolting me with each and every whack. When the beverage service came, I asked the flight attendant if she could ask the passenger to quit hitting my seat. She requested a few minutes to figure out how to address the issue without causing an issue, and moved on down the aisle.

And then I had a few more minutes to think about “the issue.”  Did I want to potentially cause an issue?  Was it really that much of a problem?  Was Thumper’s thumping bothering me so badly that embarrassment was necessary?

That is when God used the flight attendant to thump me.

When the attendant returned, I let her know that I was not going to bother with telling him to stop. She asked if I was sure and I let her know I was sure. She replied, “Just let me know if it becomes unbearable and I will take care of it.”

…if it becomes unbearable…


Over fifty people lost their lives the night before.

…if it becomes unbearable…


Over five hundred people were physically injured the night before.

…if it becomes unbearable…


Over six hundred families, friends, and loved ones’ lives were immediately and irreparably changed the night before.

…if it becomes unbearable…

I am certain that any one of them would give anything to put up with a thumper sitting behind them on an airplane instead of going through what they are going through.


God, forgive me when I don’t do all things without grumbling or complaining (Philippians 2:14). Forgive me when I don’t love you by loving others (Matthew 22:37-39). Forgive me when my love doesn’t bear all things (1Corinthians 13:7). Forgive me when I fail (1 Corinthians 13:8).

God, comfort all of those affected by the massacre in Las Vegas.


50 Simple Ways to Make Life Better

1. Read this entire list!
2. Say please.
3. Say thank you.
4. Say excuse me.
5. Accept a breath mint.
6. Brush your teeth.
7. Make your bed.
8. Smile!
9. Give a hug (or two or three).
10. Give a genuine compliment (or two or three).
11. Attend a free community concert.
12. Send a card or write a letter of appreciation.
13. Memorize a meaningful quote or poem.
14. Keep your car interior clean.
15. Hold a baby.


16. Spend time star-gazing.
17. Give a gift hand-made by you.
18. Be grateful.
19. Go for a walk.
20. Learn how to laugh with others and at yourself.
21. Allow yourself to make mistakes.
22. Allow others to make mistakes.
23. Pick up trash.
24. Listen to a friend’s favorite music.
25. Invite a guest for dinner.
26. Learn something new about your town.
27. Visit a museum.
28. Plant flower seeds.


29. Play a game with a child.
30. Sing a song.
31. Encourage someone.
32. Hold a door open for someone.
33. Let someone hold a door open for you.
34. Let someone else go first.
35. Let someone tell you their story.
36. Sit quietly and be still for 5, 10, 15 minutes.
37. Try something – anything! – new to you.
38. Give something away.
39. If you love someone, tell him or her.
40. Let an elder teach you something.
41. Let a teen teach you something.
42. Accept assistance.
43. Learn a few words in another language.
44. Put some change in a cup.
45. Go somewhere you’ve never been.
46. Visit with a friend.
47. Say yes to an invitation.
48. Stop saying “I don’t care.”
49. Recycle something.
50. Leave a happy note on a car windshield.
51. Occasionally fast from social media.
52. Share this post.
53. Make your own positive list.

A Roll of the Dice: Decluttering, Cleaning, Organizing, and Decorating the Lessaris Estate


Clutter and disorganization do not care about your income, your home’s square footage, or how many people/pets live in your home.  I live in a single-family home with my husband, no children at home and no pets.  Well, except for our fish…
Roll of the dice fish
Our home has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a full finished basement, in all over 3500 square feet of space, plus porches and decks – and it is full of clutter and disorganization!
Roll of the dice front to back
Confession time (shared from my Facebook page) –
this is just the tip of the iceberg!
Roll the dice confession
This post is not written because I have it all figured out, but because I really do not have it figured out!  I am a List Lady, and I find it much easier and more likely to get done if I write it out step by step to be sure I have thoughtfully considered everything to be done. My hope is that this process helps you too.
I also do not intend to do this Every. Single. Day.  That would become stressful, physically fatiguing, and mentally strenuous.  I will implement my plan every few days, and each step in each room may take a few days to accomplish.  If you are exhausted, then you will give up too quickly, and your other daily tasks would suffer as well.
My plan to conquer the chaos begins with an overview of what I call
The Clockwise Process.”
No before pictures for today since, not only would that be overwhelming to me, it would be scary for you!  Read through the process for an idea of where we are going on this adventure, using my own home and my own needs as a starting point.
So fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride…
a goal without a plan is just a wish
Make a list of every area in your home.  Be specific and be thorough.  I have numbered my areas and rooms because, in order to defy my anxiety and distress at deciding just where to begin, I will be rolling the dice to choose the room.  Obviously (or not so obviously), I will be limiting the first several rooms to the first several on the list.
Or I could just use my dodecahedron dice…
Roll of the dice jar
Areas to declutter, clean, organize, and decorate (my home)
  1. Entryway
  2. Office
  3. Front hallway
  4. Sleepover suite
  5. Sleepover suite closet
  6. Studio
  7. Common bath
  8. Master bedroom
  9. Master closet
  10. Master bath
  11. Living room
  12. Dining room
  13. Liquor cabinet
  14. Kitchen
  15. Laundry
  16. Back hallway
  17. Back hallway closet
  18. Guest bedroom
  19. Guest bedroom closet
  20. Guest bath
  21. Stairwell
  22. Rec room
  23. Storage room
  24. Front yard
  25. Front porches
  26. Deck/fire pit
  27. Back yard
  28. Side yards
  29. Vehicle
{Note: If the room where you are working has a closet, treat it as a separate area. Do not try to include it in the clockwise process.  Perform the clockwise process on it as a room.  (Personal exception: My studio closet must be treated as part of the studio due to its function as a part of the room.) Notice that I have also included my vehicle in this list.  Sometimes I feel like I live in my Kia Soul!}
time pic
Step one for each space is decluttering.  I really cannot clean and organize, and I won’t decorate, until the area is decluttered, because stuff gets in the way!  Isn’t that just life?  My focus is on one room at a time, one step at a time, so after decluttering I can move on to the other three aspects of making my home beautiful.
The Clockwise Process for De-Cluttering
You will need these supplies, plus possibly a friend, music, and maybe a glass or two of your favorite wine:
            Timer (not on your smart phone – too distracting)
            4 baskets/bags/boxes, labeled as:
Other rooms
Other homes
Work fifteen minutes at a time, then take a five minute break.  You can adjust these times as you need, but I suggest stick to some kind of time limit.  Go clockwise from your left hand as you stand in the doorway facing the room.  Decide if the first immediate item at your left hand is where it belongs. Use the baskets as follows:
  1. Items that go to other rooms simply go into the designated basket. Don’t try to put away each item as you come across it, or you may get distracted from the task at hand.  This basket can be sorted when the current room is decluttered.
  2. Items that go to other homes also go into its designated basket. These may be things you have borrowed and should return, or things you purchased for someone else (unless the time has not come to gift it – in this case, it should go into the “other rooms” basket so it can be placed into an assigned storage spot until the appropriate time).
  3. Items for donation should be in good condition – no breakage, no holes or tears, no stains. If you would not wear it or use it “as is” then do not donate it.  These items go into the trash bag.
Suggested donation sites:
Salvation Army
local charities and resource centers
  1. Items for trash go into the trash bag, the trash bag gets tied up, and the trash bag gets out of your house. No tosser’s remorse allowed!
Now for the roll of the dice.  And the winner is…
Roll of the dice die