#Keepingitreal, Friendship, Image, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, Thankfulness

Unconditional Love Is Priceless

I struggle to share my private life and I know this post is going to seem a bit weird to some who do not understand the depth in which you can love your pets, but this dog is my world.

This is my doggo, Shadow (the one with floppy ears). If you follow me on Instagram then you know how much he means to me, but to those who do not, you will quickly learn, he is my life.

We adopted this gentle guy when he was only seven months old because our sweet family friend was unexpectedly transferred to a new duty station and had been informed by the U.S. Navy that she could only take one of her sweet babies with her.

She had to make an extremely difficult decision and had to find this precious baby boy a new home. We already knew the boys because they lived across the street and so she asked my family if we would consider adopting this baby boy and give him a good home for her. She entrusted us with her most precious baby whom we agreed to adopt.

I made her a promise when we agreed to adopt Shadow that we would take the best care of him as we knew how. It didn’t take him any time to melt the hearts of our family and become one of us. As a result of his adoption, it enabled his Mommy Sarah and brother, Baby Bear, to remain in his life.

This was a win win situation. His mommy Sarah has the pleasure of seeing him as often as she comes to town while we share pictures and videos with her often. This allows her the unique opportunity to remain in his life.

Friends, if you have a special dog in your life then you will understand this statement,

Shadow is my sunshine on cloudy day.

We originally thought we would train him to be a service dog for my husband who struggles with the effects of PTSD, but it did not take long to see Shadow had a different plan.

Shadow quickly became “my” side kick. He goes on walks with me. He waits on me at every chance he gets. If I go out of sight, I know he is always there and exited to see me come back. He even loves to go for car rides every chance he gets.

He loves the rest of the family, but him and I have a unique relationship. He is truly my life (outside of my human family and friends).

“Shadow Puppy” is the bestest buddy any human could have or wish for. He has truly changed my life. He filled a void I did not realize I had.

If you have a dog in your life who has done this for you, then you understand what I mean when I say,

I truly love my dog!

He is the bestest doggo friend I could have ever wish for.

He is my life in dog form.

My friend, if you have a special pet in your life, give them an extra hug as well as an extra treat today. They earned it through their unconditional for you.

encouragement, Gratitude, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Thankfulness

Curve Balls Call For Swing Adjustments

God is so good!

He knows the plan He has for us before we even know.

When life throws us curve balls God shows us how to quickly readjust our swing in order to hit the ball.

My friend, life is hard and we do not always understand why circumstances happen, but my reminder is to look beyond the moment to see God will use this difficulty for His good, which in turn will be for ours.

Hang tight, if you are facing some difficult obstacles, lean into God.

Ask Him to provide a clarity in how your circumstances will be made new and how God will use this obstacle or difficulty for His good.

You’ve got this because ultimately, God has this.

Today, take some time to breathe while you are adjusting your swing.

encouragement, HL&E Designs, Inspiration, Kindness, Life, Remembering, Thankfulness

Recognizing Important People

We are a few weeks away from a busy month of recognizing important people in our lives.

We have Mother’s Day coming up!

Teachers and Nurses Appreciation Weeks as well.

Do you have these important people in your lives? If you do, we are your one stop shop to make meaningful and special gifts for them.

We can customize and personalize your gift ideas. Send us a message today to allow us the time to get your gifts back to you before time runs out.

I will try to make albums this weekend with some amazing gift ideas for these 3 important recognitions, but if you have ideas, do not be afraid to ask us to make them as well.

We can be found on Instagram and Facebook as HL&E Designs. I also have a link on the right side bar.

Please consider checking us out. We can ship to US and APO/FPO addresses at this time.

HL&E Designs, Inspiration, T-Shirt, Thankfulness

Thankful T-Shirt

Order yours today.

Thankful T-Shirt

Do you love to wear positive and encouraging shirts. This is a classic but timeless saying. S/H Included


Thankful T-Shirt

Do you love to wear positive and encouraging shirts. This is a classic but timeless saying. Price $25.00 (SE Virginia Residents not requiring shipping)


Ordering Information

Please provide us with the following information so we can begin processing your order.

Sizing Information

Cotton 100% 
Weight 5.3 Oz 

  • Classic fit
  • 7/8″ collar
  • Quarter-turned to eliminate center crease
  • Safety Green is compliant with ANSI / ISEA 107 high visibility standards
  • Tear-away label
  • Double-needle stitching throughout
  • Taped shoulder-to-shoulder
  • Seamless rib at neck
  • Ash Grey is 99% cotton, 1% polyester
  • Sunset, Safety Pink, Russet, Neon (Green, Blue), Midnight, Lilac, Blackberry, Tweed, Safety Green, S. Orange, Dark Heather, Graphite Heather, and Heather (Military Green, Radiant Orchid, Red, Sapphire) are 50% cotton, 50% polyester
  • Antique (Cherry Red, Jade Dome, Irish Green, Sapphire, Orange) and Sport Grey are 90% cotton, 10% polyester
  • 100% preshrunk cotton
Encouragement Today, Hope, Journey, Life

Closing One Year While Welcoming Another

Credit: @homelife&encouragement

Encouragement Today

As we close out 2018 and we are welcoming 2019, I want to express my sincerest thank you to all my faithful followers for continuing to follow my blog and read my posts. To my new followers, I am beyond thankful to have you following me now. It is my continuous prayer you will be encouraged by my blog.

You have all encouraged me and gave me the courage to continue writing, whether it is by sharing my daily encouragement, my favorite recipes, or by sharing the rawness of my most difficult days. The fact you are all here encourages to me to continue moving forward in my world of blogging.

It has been my hope, desire, and dream over the past year to make money with my blog and to be able to help my family financially while staying at home doing what I do daily.

I have been prayerfully seeking God’s guidance and timing to take my blog to the next level. As I have patiently waited and changes began to take place, I feel 2019 might be the year some of these changes will begin to occur.

It is my desire to not only upgrade my blog but to also incorporate my personal business, HL&E Designs, to this page as well. It is my prayer there will be some exciting new changes and I will be able to share some new material soon.

I will keep you informed along the way so nothing will be a surprise and so you can celebrate along beside me since this would not be possible without your support and encouragement.

Happy New Year, My Friend!

It is my prayer you will have a safe and happy New Year to come.

Blessings, Challenge, Encouragement Today, Gratitude, Home, Journey, Life, Motivation

Appreciate Your Family For All They Do

Encouragement Today

20171012_194424717_iOSBefore I get any further lost in my day, my encouraging thought that keeps coming to me today is to not take others for granted when they do things.

How many times do you look at a lawn that is mowed and manicured, a clean house, washed laundry, supper on the table every day?

My friend, your reminder today is to not take this for granted. It does not get done without someone keeping up with it. Unfortunately, when it is maintained on a regular basis we lose track of the fact someone is behind the scenes always doing it.

We often times take it for granted until something happens to the person who always takes care of certain chores. Then we see all they do.

Today’s challenge is to be observant and look around your home. Pay attention to if something is done for you. Does your spouse mow the lawn? Does your spouse prepare your meals? Do you come home from work to a clean house?

My friend, do not take this for granted. Show your loved one your appreciation for all they do to make your house a home. It does not get done because it is wished to be done. It takes someone hard work to keep it up and maintained. Show them that you appreciate their effort to help out around your home. 

Blessings, Challenge, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Gratitude, Journey, Life, Peace, Weakness

Gratitude Can Change Rain Clouds Into Rainbows

Encouragement Today

design-130Today’s inspiration is focused on the power of gratitude.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” —Robert Brault

There is power and strength in the gesture of gratitude because it has the ability to turn rain clouds into rainbows and tiny blessing into mountains.

No matter how difficult life may be or even seem, do not get lost in the difficulty of the trial. Try to look for the positive in your situation and find something you can be grateful for because when you do it will help to change your trial into a blessing.

I personally know this is not always easy to do, but if you could retrain your mind to do it (even if you start small), you will find life just a little bit easier. My friend, one step at a time. One moment of thankfulness at a time. Even for this, you will be thankful you did.

Your challenge today is to look at life through the eyes of gratefulness and look for something to be thankful for.

If you are in a season of struggling, this may be hard to do, but set out to take one step at a time and start small by being thankful for just one small thing. Eventually, with time and practice, it will get easier to be thankful and grateful for everything, even when it is hard to see.

You have this friend!

Feel free to share your moment of gratefulness below in the comments. I would love to share them with you.

Challenge, Comfort, Courage, Encouragement Today, Focus, Gratitude, Journey, Life

Using Mirrors To Observe The Positives In Your Life

Encouragement Today


Today’s Encouragement is to inspire you to take the time to evaluate your life and look at everything that is going well.

“Your life is magnificent not because someone says it is, but because you choose to see it as such.” Ralph Marston

All too often we fall into a trap where we see and focus on things that are negative, but do not spend as much time looking at things that are positive.

My friend, your challenge today is simple, spend some time examining your life and focus only on the positive things. When you begin to focus on the things that are good, your life will not seem as bad.

By taking the time to view these positives in your life, your heart will begin to soften and the power of gratitude and thankfulness will be seen again.

Holiday, Journey, Kindness, Thanksgiving

Being Thankful For Random Acts of Kindness

Happy Thanksgiving

I am going against the tradition of thankfulness this year.

A02A6CDC-3F9F-4222-BD44-F2EDFF0AB820Everyone is always thankful for family and friends and I am as well, but this year I want to express my thankfulness to the person who shows a random act of kindness.

This is the person who goes against the norm of selfishness and thinks of someone else in an unexpected way.

I’m thankful for the person who says, “No wait, let me get that door for you. Do you need help with that?”  Any random at of kindness has a way of changing a person’s life.

This is the person I am thankful this year for. Take a moment out of your day and be that person who can change the heart of a random stranger.

You never know how God is working. He could orchestrate it to where this stranger becomes a lasting friend in the end.

Consider today on this day of Thanksgiving about what random act of kindness could you do to touch someone’s life today.

Now back to tradition. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone I know and love.

Blessings, encouragement, Encouragement Today, Focus, Gratitude, Hope, Journey

Expressing Our Gratitude

Encouragement Today – Sharing Our Gratitude With Others

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, what is something you are thankful for?

It can be big or small. The size of gratitude thankfully is not judged by it’s size and there is no right or wrong answer.

Gratitude comes from the heart.

It is that smile you smile for no reason, whether physically or internally.

What made you smile with your heart?

By sharing these moments you encourage others who may be struggling because of hardships to see beyond their struggle and to look for that small glimpse of light where they can see something they can be thankful for.

By sharing this simple gesture of gratitude it gives hope to those who are weary.

It encourages them to look beyond the moment they are in and to actively watch for those positive things things God puts in their lives that they can be thankful for.

Gratitude is a powerful tool God uses in our lives to touch others and to give hope when it was once lost.

Be a blessing to others this Thanksgiving season and share your moments of gratitude. Don’t hide them under a bushel, instead shout them from the mountain tops.

Okay, a smaller scale will work to. Share them with your friends, your social media accounts or anywhere you are that God puts it on your heart to share.

Remember, no matter how big or small the blessing you are thankful for is, God uses it for His good.

Allow yourself to be His vessel and to touch lives this season.