Good morning and Happy February to each of you.

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We are now a year and a half into The Art of Living Beautifully’s life. When I look back to the beginning of this craziness, I remember how fearful I was of putting myself out there for the world to see and judge. The night I created TAOLB’s Facebook page I was so mortified I actually covered my face and clicked ‘invite’ over and over and over, essentially requesting my friends and acquaintances to ‘Like’ this unknown extension of myself. I was sure they would see the request and think I was a loser, or desperate or something else pathetic…

…and then one by one the invitations were accepted. We’re approaching a thousand now, which is something I NEVER imagined TAOLB would reach.

My verse for February is Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Like most of you, I have faced a few massive-anxiety-causing-events over the past year and a half, and this verse saved me from myself. What is there to fear if the Lord is always by our sides, guiding our steps, paving the way?

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The Lord calls us to BE BOLD.

What if I had never been bold and sent out those Facebook invites? What if I allowed my colorful whims of The Art of Living Beautifully to remain just that: a colorful whim? Friends, there are times when we need to step out of our comfort zones and be bold in life. Not pushy or aggressive, but BRAVE.

This month in La Cucina, I have some fun, Valentines-y themed confections (and concoctions!) coming up as well as this little plate of simple deliciousness:

Greek Stuffed Pasta Salad

Jumbo shells stuffed with Greek Salad for the win!!!

Our Style Wheel Big Deal is something we probably all have in our closets already, but I wanted to show you a few fun ways to style…A CHAMBRAY SHIRT. Yes, a long one looks good over leggings, a scarf and riding boots (this is the typical uniform I see a lot) but the chambray shirt can be styled in so many other creative ways. Its weight makes for an excellent choice this time of year–especially in North Texas–it was 40°  and 70° last week in McKinney!

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You will find a little Valentine’s Brunch tablescape in your Inbox this month which was inspired by this picture I found on Pinterest:

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These initial mugs from Anthropologie are one of my favorite favorites–and not just for coffee!

Have a fantastic, beautiful and BOLD month lovelies!!!

In addition to watching your Inbox for posts, you can find me here as well

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-ciao for now-

lauren

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