You people are Best of Basket crazy! You guys LOVE these things. Thank you for all of your feedback and for your donations and most of all for your friendships and support as we bring sweet Isla home.

I can’t wait to meet her. I can’t wait to see what she looks like. I can’t wait to pray over her. I can’t wait to hug her birth mama. I can’t wait to advocate for her needs. I can’t wait to be her mom.

ETA:  As I was up late last night typing this out…. praying over her little did I know her mama was contracting and in the early stages of labor. I woke up to a text saying… She’s COMING TODAY!!!!!!!! We fly out tomorrow. 

October 9th…. it’s a GREAT day to have a baby!!!  Pray for her birth mama as she goes through this labor of love for our sweet girl. (she’s really wanting to have a VBAC) 

Do I have fears? You bet I do. And right towards the end of any adoption they multiply like crazy! But I remember having them right before each and every adoption. Each day the Lord says quietly to my heart “Do you trust me? I’m big enough for you and for her every need. Have I let you down in the past? Could I shut this down if it wasn’t in my plan? Do you believe me when I say my strength is made perfect  by your weakness? Why do you fight weakness so hard my child? My strength is good… rest in it, trust in it, take joy in it.”

I thought I wasn’t going to do the third basket I had planned because I honestly didn’t know if I was going to have the time to do it. But we found out we have some additional costs through the adoption agency. And while we are hoping to stay at the Ronald McDonald house and borrow a car while we are there… we know it’s important to have the funds to be able to stay and drive in case those things aren’t available immediately, as well as eat and travel back and forth if need be.  I have NO worries that we won’t be taken care of.  God is going before us and He will orchestrate this trip however long it is… and it might be a long time since she’s probably going to be having surgery right away. But after seeing God work the way He did in all of our adoptions before this one, How can I doubt His faithfulness?

SO…. my third and final Best of Basket it is.  I’ve been excited about this basket since I decided to do the benefit baskets. I mean… what’s not to love??

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-020

I think this is PERFECT TIMING for this collection of goodies!! I estimate that it will land on your front porch the second week in November, just in time for the holiday cooking to begin! I LOVE the holiday season! I love the family recipes, I love the gatherings, I love the celebrating of traditions or the making of new traditions,  I love it all! And what makes the holiday season even more magical…. A new BABY!! So I’m really excited for this year’s grateful/advent season to begin!

Here’s the info:

All you have to do to is enter your name into a drawing for this basket when you make a donation of $5 towards the Chappell Family. For every $5 we will put your name on the list…. so,  $10 we will put your name on twice… $25 five times… and so forth.  ON Nov 5th I will do a videotaped recording of the random choosing of one of the entries and will announce it on the blog and contact you through email or facebook.  I will then pack up all the goodies and send it your way to enjoy!!!

You can also get extra entries by sharing on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter after you’ve donated. Just comment on this post and let me know where you shared so I can count them!! (otherwise I won’t know you shared!!)

It’s easy as pie… oh my speaking of pie… Everyone who donates gets the recipe to a coconut chess pie that is to DIE FOR!

*”Basket” is not included in collection  *If you’d like to be entered without donating send me an email to  *Donations are not tax deductible… IF You’d rather give a tax deductible gift directly to a non-profit that will go directly towards agency fees then GO HERE!!

Let’s kick off this fabulous collection with the BEST and most essential thing a baker could ask for and that’s a KITCHEN AID MIXER. We got one as a wedding gift and it has been used countless times and keeps on keeping on. So you get one! Includes a flat beater attachment, coated dough hook, wire whip! And….. YOU GET TO PICK THE COLOR you want!!  I have loved my matte finish black because it goes with everything and looks super sleek!

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-002

Also something I got for a wedding gift was Williams-sonoma’s Melamine mixing bowl set. These are lightweight, dishwasher safe, LAST forever and they don’t stain…and are pretty much kid proof, pretty much! You want these for the baking season ahead I promise!  I’ve never been without Williams-Sonoma’s Spatulas and Spoonulas either. I’ve had to replace a few of these but I always go right back and get more… because they are the Best!

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-003

Next up is an appliance that I didn’t have until last year… and I honestly don’t know how I lived without it this long. I use it for EVERYTHING. It was super helpful in making Abel’s homemade formula, it scrambles the best eggs, and makes homemade salad dressings a breeze to create. You can use it for so many things.  This emulsion blender is the bomb!!

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-004

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-005

And while it kinda falls more into the cooking category more than baking… although you can certainly bake it in. I can’t live without my cast iron skillet! In the past few years I’ve actually replaced all my non-stick cookware with either stainless steel or cast iron. And it’s so nice knowing that I’m caring for my families health by using pans that I know aren’t covered with anything that might could harm them. So… you’re getting a cast iron skillet!!  (and some steel scrubbers which I’ve found to be perfect for cleaning stainless steel pans and cast iron!)

I adore this Eat sign that you might think I found at a flea market… nope, world market for the win! Having kids boys in the house I have almost given up hanging things on the wall thats breakable. These metal signs… they are little boy proof! and it’s a great and simple way to add decor. So I’m including it for your kitchen. (I know ya’ll are NOT looking at the sign but are thinking about how in the world are you going to convince your husbands that you HAVE to have this backsplash for your kitchen… I know you are! I wish I could claim it as mine… but it’s my friend Waverlee’s awesome kitchen!)

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-006

I know it’s easy to hop online to find a recipe… but I personally believe that the BEST recipes are the ones that are found in books… church cookbooks…recipe boxes… Those are tried and true and usually are wonderful!  So I picked my two favorite recipe books that to me are much more than just collection of recipes… they are family treasures.  Sprouted Kitchen has been a food blog I’ve read for years! The photos inspire me and her stories add meaning to each recipe. THIS SOUP is my recipe of hers.  Kinfolk Table represents the best of what Kinfolk Magazine has to offer as they celebrate small gatherings.  The stories in this book transport you to far away lands… nooks of big cities… and in backyards all over.  These cookbooks are ones you truly want to curl up on the couch with and read through.

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-016

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-007

And when you are curled up on the couch with these fabulous collection of recipes… then if you’re anything like me you’ll want a mug of coffee (Thanks to my friend Heather, I’ve fallen in love with this new creamer flavor, Spiced Latte!)  I hate stirring my coffee with a big ol’ spoon or a butter knife, so having lil’ coffee stirring spoons are something that’s so nice to have around! I’m including a set of 4 from World Market with this basket. you’ll loooovvveeee them!!! (and they make great stocking stuffers… so go grab some for friends and family)

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-008

These little knives get used ALL the time. They are bright and easy to find (in my one kitchen drawer!!) and with them being different colors it’s easy to keep them separated if I’m cutting meat and other stuff or I”m needing to not cross-contaminate food groups. I love these knives!!!

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-009

These Cloth Napkins might just be my favorite thing in this whole basket!! I LOVE them! I grew up with cloth napkins. My mom was smart and knew that a family of 11 would go through far too many paper towels and paper napkins… so she made cloth napkins and we used them over and over. You’re getting this fabulous set of 8 black and white striped cloth napkins. I adore black and white striped anything… so I know these will add a classic pop to any tablescape!

Also… Meet my Best friend during the holiday season. Hello Mulling Spices!! I get a bottle EVERY YEAR this time of year from Williams-Sonoma. I actually don’t use it to make mulling cider. Every day I sprinkle some in a pot with water and sometimes some vanilla or orange peels and let it simmer away smelling up the house in the most delightful way!

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-010

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-011

My Mother-in-law gives me the BEST christmas presents! This past year she gave me these adorable measuring cups! I almost didn’t want to use them they were so cute. But I used them… and these have withstood tons of use, hundreds of rounds in the dishwasher, Abel using them as toys, and even have been sneaked outside to help fill a moat in a castle a time or two.  And they look JUST as new as when I got them. So These are built to last. The Measuring spoons are a bit more classic and clean cut but I find I like a more easy to clean spoon for measuring.

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-012

I have a little love obsession with cute dish towels. Maybe it’s that it brightens up and adds instant decor to the kitchen. They make me happy!!  I love the ones at World Market! So you’re getting THIS one and THIS one!

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-013

If you’ve never grated real nutmeg vs. buying store bought… then you’re missing out. So I’m giving you a bottle of nutmegs and a grater! I promise you’ll thank me for it.

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-014

These last few things are the things that while they are little… they add just the right touch!  First,  these mason jar salt and pepper shakers… And I filled them with pepper and Himalayan pink salt which is so good for you and provides so many important minerals our bodies need.   Adams Vanilla. You might just be a Texan when any other vanilla just won’t do. I put this stuff in everything. It’s the secret ingredient to my Rice Krispie treats… and I often will put some in a pan of water with some orange peels or cinnamon sticks and let it simmer to smell up the house!  Parchment paper… from bacon to cookies, it’s essential and life changing!

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-018

This little guy may be the tiniest thing in my kitchen drawer but when I’m baking… I’m so thankful I have it. Gone are the days of big ol’ knife marks in the top of cakes or brownies!  And it’s super cute and doesn’t take up much space in your silverware drawer but is always right there when you need it.

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-015

One of my friends… who married a guy I grew up with in Alaska,  Just launched a sign business on etsy  and I LOVE her signs. I want the Grace and Gratitude one SO BAD! So… I asked her if I could gift the winner with a $25 gift card to her shop and she was so excited to do so! So… You’ll have an awesome sign to hang for all your thanksgiving (and year round) reminders that we are so so blessed!

page metals BLOG

And for all you Fort Worth locals…. We have a Stir Crazy Baked Goods gift card to give away!!   I’ll pick a FW family who enters who I think would benefit from a morning spent at this fine bakery (which is just 3 blocks from my house!!) *to make this easy on me… you have to have a FW address.

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 12.25.23 AM

And the winner of this basket will get to pick one incredible adoptive/foster mom to receive this gift:  It’s from Anthropologie and it’s the cutest recipe box (and I’ve included a few of my very favorite tried and true recipes already).  And also they will get one of my favorite tea towels (see I told you I had a thing for dish towels.) It’s from Mary and Martha and not only can you use it in the kitchen you can also stretch it over a canvas and hang on the wall! I think it’s awesome either way!  To me cooking/baking is a part of so many memories of home… in some ways it makes a house a home! They are the memories kids will take with them forever and so with fostering and adopting I think meals and time spent preparing food and serving our families can be maybe some of the most important work we do.  Some of the kids who are in foster care maybe have never even celebrated a birthday the way they are meant to be celebrated… I can’t think of anything better to give a foster/adoptive mama than the tools to help celebrate her little ones!

best of baking basket adoptive mom giveaway 1

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-019

So, There it is My ALL TIME FAVORITE Collection of Baking Goodies!!! If you love baking and making holiday tables one to remember for your family then please give of what you’ve been given and know that you gift will go directly towards the adoption of Isla Olivia Rose…. and know we are SO grateful for you!

Here’s the info:

All you have to do to is enter your name into a drawing for this basket when you make a donation of $5 towards the Chappell Family. For every $5 we will put your name on the list…. so,  $10 we will put your name on twice… $25 five times… and so forth.  On Nov 5th I will do a videotaped recording of the random choosing of one of the entries and will announce it on the blog and contact you through email or facebook.  I will then pack up all the goodies and send it your way to enjoy!!!

You can also get extra entries by sharing on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter after you’ve donated. Just comment on this post and let me know where you shared so I can count them!! (otherwise I won’t know you shared!!)

IF You’d rather give a tax deductible gift directly to a non-profit that will go directly towards agency fees then GO HERE!!

It’s easy as pie… oh my speaking of pie… Everyone who donates gets the recipe to a coconut chess pie that is to DIE FOR!

Best of Baking Basket BLOG-001
P.s. I wrote this whole blog post while listening to the New Cinderella’s soundtrack on Spotify… It’s a instrumental dream!  
Pin It
  • Leanne TuckerOctober 9, 2015 - 8:23 am

    Donated and shared in facebook! Congrats!ReplyCancel

  • MeganOctober 9, 2015 - 8:57 am

    Sorry, I told you on FB and should have told you here. I donated and tweeted. Praying for yall!ReplyCancel

  • ElisaOctober 9, 2015 - 9:00 am

    Congratulations. Just donated and shared on facebook. Good luck and bring that precious baby HOME.ReplyCancel

  • Susan McElwainOctober 9, 2015 - 9:39 am

    Praying for you and reposting on Facebook! Love you guys!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey TennisonOctober 9, 2015 - 9:48 am

    Donated and shared on Facebook :) so excite for your family!!ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne SpeightOctober 9, 2015 - 10:07 am

    I donated and shared! :)ReplyCancel

    • Suzanne SpeightOctober 9, 2015 - 10:08 am

      (On fb)ReplyCancel

  • Amy KnueppelOctober 9, 2015 - 2:37 pm

    Shared on IG, FB, and Twitter! This is amazing!!!ReplyCancel

  • MattieOctober 9, 2015 - 3:25 pm

    Shared on Facebook! Congratulations on your adoption. :)ReplyCancel

  • Christie HillOctober 9, 2015 - 3:56 pm

    Donated and shared on Twitter!! Praying for you all.ReplyCancel

  • JulieOctober 9, 2015 - 4:33 pm

    Donated and shared on FB!ReplyCancel

  • Shelly CallawayOctober 9, 2015 - 4:47 pm

    I donated and shared on Facebook. Congratulations on the new bundle of joy!!ReplyCancel

  • Angela GilbreathOctober 9, 2015 - 5:38 pm

    I donated and shared on Facebook. Looking forward to the great things God will do through Isla’s life as a Chappell. :)ReplyCancel

  • Stephany WilsonOctober 9, 2015 - 6:23 pm

    Shared on Facebook! Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Meredith NewtonOctober 9, 2015 - 6:31 pm

    Donated and shared on Facebook. Praying for you and your precious family! We are only about four hours from Las Vegas if you need help or company. Just let me know where you are staying. Would be lovely to see you. Cell phone is 623-694-1115.ReplyCancel

  • Dawntoya ThomasonOctober 9, 2015 - 6:49 pm

    Donating now! And posting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!! Love you guys from afar and appreciate everything you do in and for the Body!!ReplyCancel

  • Joy KramerOctober 9, 2015 - 8:17 pm

    Shared on Facebook!ReplyCancel

  • Kara MaddoxOctober 10, 2015 - 8:39 pm

    Donated and shared on Facebook! Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Penny WacasterOctober 10, 2015 - 8:50 pm

    Just shared about your awesome fundraising idea. Can’t wait to see pics of that sweet addition to your family. God speed to you and your family!ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia StuckeyOctober 13, 2015 - 9:05 am

    Donated, Shared on FB and on Twitter– Instagram post later today! Love you guys!!ReplyCancel

We are now T-Minus 3 weeks!!  As of yesterday She’s FULL TERM!


I’m doing everything I can to settle down and WAIT WELL.  For a few days we thought she was coming early due to her heart rhythm “not having much variance”… but then after an overnight stay her heart beat got “happy” again and she’s doing great and growing leaps and bounds just inches from her birth mom’s heart and 1200 miles from mine.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 3.11.27 PM

I wanted to update you on her health and what we are anticipating once she’s born and when we get there.

First…. her heart looks fine and so other than praising God for that we are praying that she handles labor and delivery in general well. Her birthmom is wanting to have a VBAC and I would love that for her, having had a C-section myself and knowing that healing can take longer.

Secondly, she has what’s called Agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC). This is a rare birth defect (congenital disorder) in which there is a complete or partial absence of the corpus callosum. It occurs when the corpus callosum, the band of white matter connecting the two hemispheres in the brain, fails to develop normally, typically during pregnancy. This is more of a wait and see type of thing. Many people with ACC are asymptomatic and are walking around probably not even aware they are missing that part of their brain. But others might have delays, such as those common already with down syndrome…delayed speech, development issues, and working to “re-wire” the brain to communicate without that band of connection.  And the most severe would be to watch for seizures… which could present at birth but also hold off until she’s a little older. And I’m guessing then she would go on anti-seizure medicine.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 3.23.36 PM

And Lastly, she has what looks to be a Duodenal Atresia. This will be the thing that probably is most crucial to address and will probably keep her in the NICU for a few weeks. The duodenum is the first portion of small intestine after the stomach. When part of the bowel fails to develop normally in the fetus, a blockage of the duodenum can occur, otherwise known as an atresia or bowel obstruction. About 1/3 of infants born with duodenal atresia will also have Down Syndrome. Newborns with duodenal atresia will need an operation in order to fix the intestinal atresia. The goal of this surgery is to remove the bowel obstruction and allow the digestive tract to be functional. She will have to be fed via IV until her digestive system can handle feedings… which could take a few days to a few weeks.

Untitled design

That’s when we will be praying for her muscle tone to be such that she will eat like a champ! Abel was a slow learner and didn’t start eating well until about a week after he was born. But apart from some texture issues.. he’s a great eater now!

But most importantly… God can heal any of those things before she’s born or give her great recovery afterwards… or He can be made much of by the longer stay in the hospital! We will just cry out to Him for healing and trust Him to write a story that will be better than we ever hoped no matter the twists and turns along the way.

Will you join me in praying for Isla? I want to pray believing that He can heal and work wonders in her life!

Also… the thought of leaving my kiddos for maybe a month or more makes me want to cry and throw up and throw a fit. But I have to trust that God is at work even in their lives for their good in this. I have incredible brothers and sisters and my in-laws hang the moon and I love my church family! So I know that they will be in wonderful hands when we are gone. And with Southwest Airlines having great airfares… I bet if it gets to be too much I could fly home and see them and turn around and go back.  It has been a difficult time of not having my parents in my life this past year due to their fears concerning our life choices with family and ministry. Having a new baby coming has only made that grief weigh all the more heavy on my heart. Something about expecting a baby makes you want your mom more. But I know that God is again, at work in the hard difficult places to bring about a greater joy than had there not been sorrow in the first place. He can restore the years that the enemy is seeking to devour. I’m resting in that. And if you are struggling with loved ones and broken hearts… I hope you will rest in that too. THIS Spotify Channel has been on repeat every day around here! Listen… and know that Grace WINS every time!


Now… Here is our financial situation.  Ya’ll… last year I never would have imagined that we would be starting a ministry from scratch AND adopting a special needs baby in another state at the SAME TIME! But God’s timing is rarely our own… so I’m going to trust He’s got this!

We are using Catholic Charities of Nevada as our custody agency during our finalization period and we will finalize the adoption in Nevada. (this wasn’t going to be the case until this week when our lawyers advised us to take this route due to ICPC concerns)  This means one extra agency fee. Thankfully domestic special needs adoptions aren’t super expensive but they do require people who are trained and licensed to make an adoption happen.

We have two pressing financial needs right now:

1.  Is the remaining agency custody fees, legal finalization fees,  flights to and from Las Vegas, extended stay in Nevada, car rental, and accompanying travel expenses. (we are also looking into options such as ronald mcdonald house which is about 30 minutes away or churches nearby having people who would lend cars and such)

2. A vehicle that will hold all of us Chappells. We’ve been a one car family for all of our marriage and it works for us… but we kinda need to fit all of us in it. The kids asked the other day when we were driving somewhere “where will isla sit when she gets home?” And we looked at each other and said in full belief “that’s for God to provide!”  Ya’ll HE will.  And maybe that’s through YOU!  We can get about $2000 for this van which has served us so well… but we would LOVE to give it to a family/ministry who needs a vehicle!


We are humbled by your support and ask you to pray and give towards this final step in bringing our baby girl home. This feels like crazy timing… but we have felt that before and trust that God is the author of this little life and in looking back we can see His hands faithfully working for His Glory in 1,000 different ways.

Here is our GoFundMe page!  Give if you can and Share if you will.

We are SO grateful for you!!! You are our People!!!

God is looking for people through whom He

Pin It

she’s 37 weeks pregnant.
I feel 37 weeks pregnant.
she’s weary and tired.
I’m weary and tired.
she’s nervous. 
I’m nervous.
she’s ALL IN.
she’s got her heart on the line.
I’ve got my heart on the line.
she loves this baby so much her heart hurts.
I love this baby so much my heart hurts.
she’s not sure how she’s going to manage the months ahead.
I’m not sure how I’m going to manage the months ahead.
what if Isla’s health is so bad that they won’t want to adopt her, she fears.
what if Isla’s health is a misdiagnosis and they will want to keep her, I fear.
how will this effect my other daughter? she wonders.
how will this effect my other children? I wonder.
In ten years from now will there be overwhelming regrets?
In ten years from now will there be overwhelming sacrifice?
Placing her for adoption. This is what loving her best looks like for her.
Choosing to adopt her. This is what loving her best looks like for us.
Trusting Jesus will carry her through today and many tomorrows to come.
Trusting Jesus will carry us through today and many tomorrows to come.
She’s at peace.
I’m at peace. 

Today Isla Olivia Rose, You are loved by two mommies and all their friends and families who are so grateful Jesus created you. And today we trust Jesus will write the story that will bring Him the most glory to His name.

best of belonging basket BLOG-001


Pin It
  • Nicole RossSeptember 24, 2015 - 1:22 pm

    absolutely love this!ReplyCancel

I could go on and on about the overwhelming gratitude of my heart for you guys… but I’ll just let the video do the talking! Thank you!


We now have Isla’s (pronouced “eye-lah”) agency adoption fees covered! There may be additional fees, but the big fees are PAID! We also are retaining two lawyers… TX & NV, and we have part of their fees covered as well.  This is such an answer to prayer. Two months ago we couldn’t say this…not to mention the fact that we have started a new ministry full time and that has greatly reduced our living income, but we have not lacked for anything! His timing is perfect even when it looks to be crazy!

We will probably have some expenses for traveling/lodging depending on how long we will need to be in Las Vegas. That will depend on the length of Isla’s stay in the NICU and then the 5-10 day ICPC process once she’s out of the hospital.  I sometimes get anxious about being gone from my babies… but we were planning on a 6 week stay in the congo with Evie and Ezra and it ended up being only 3 incredible weeks. And our kids were fine here at home and getting a new baby sister will be worth every moment of it!!

I was planning on doing a third best of basket but as much as I enjoy doing them, these things take a lot of time and effort and I can feel myself needing to go into a time of nesting and preparing as well as time spent with my little ones as we prepare to be gone and to bring another one into the nest. So I’m going to end with this one….and trust God to provide all our needs according to His riches in Glory!!

But this has been so much fun and THANK YOU just doesn’t cover how much I’m grateful for each one of you!

best of belonging basket BLOG-017

Pin It
  • Shannon WalkerSeptember 24, 2015 - 11:43 pm

    EEK!! I am so excited. I never win anything. But more than that, I’m SO beyond thrilled that ya’ll raised so much support to bring home sweet Isla! Praise Jesus!ReplyCancel

I remember when growing up that my mom always loved Sees candy. We’d get it sometimes in airports and Dan always brings some home when he goes to L.A.  I think because it’s been around for such a long time Sees Candy has become a tradition in many families. And if you know me… I love traditions. So this year Sees Candy asked me if we wanted to help celebrate the birthday of their beloved Mary See whose recipes they still use today and has made their candies quality and taste last throughout the years.  So we had a little birthday party today and what a fun thing to randomly celebrate…. I think we might just make it a yearly thing. I mean, when it’s a reason to have chocolate, why not!


Sees Birthday BLOG-001Sees Birthday BLOG-002Sees Birthday BLOG-003Sees Birthday BLOG-004Sees Birthday BLOG-005Sees Birthday BLOG-006Sees Birthday BLOG-007Sees Birthday BLOG-008Sees Birthday BLOG-009Sees Birthday BLOG-010Sees Birthday BLOG-011Sees Birthday BLOG-012

Pin It

Ya’ll ready for Best of Basket #2!!!   Here it is! For this one I wanted to celebrate my favorite aspects of Home and Belonging in this basket.  So if you love photography, documenting, reading, journaling, and prints both inspirational and documentary then you’ll love this collection of goodies! It’s valued at over $600…. but it’s more than things, it’s about what they celebrate!

As promised here is a glimpse of what your gifts towards Basket #1 accomplished!

Twila’s Homescoming!

And here’s the latest photo we received of baby girl…. Isn’t she so cute and chubby!!!  This is from her latest ultrasound a few weeks ago. She’s doing great in that she is alive and growing! She does have some areas of concern. The main things they found were that the corpus callosum towards the back of her brain is not developing as normal.  They also found an issue with her stomach and duodenum having under developed parts. Both of these things aren’t unheard of when having a down syndrome diagnosis. They are serious but probably not life threatening. So My prayer is that God will heal her brain and stomach completely!!! Will you join me in praying that prayer? He can do that. But I also know that often God uses things like this and time spent in the hospital as opportunities to get to know people and show them Christ’s love and sufficiency in times of suffering.



her name will be….

best of belonging basket BLOG-001


Yes, Isla Olivia Rose Chappell.  Isla (pronounced eye-lah) in honor of her being a quarter Filipino (over 7,000 islands make up the Philippines), Olivia because that’s the name her birthmom has given her and we always try to honor our childrens birth parents in special ways, Rose because I think she will be a sweet fragrance of love to all who know her.

Every penny given towards this basket will go towards her adoption!  We will have two lawyers (one in Texas and one in Nevada) and the agency has a pre-placement and post-placement fee as well. All together with travel and stay there we are looking at hopefully staying under 10K for the whole adoption. That’s about how much Abel’s adoption cost. We know the money will be there… God has ALWAYS provided through the people He’s wanted to use mightily in our lives! I do love it when in the process we can do something creative and something that blesses others and celebrates life. Thus the idea of the Best of Basket was born.

Want to be a part of bringing her home to us? All you have to do to is enter your name into a drawing for this basket when you make a donation of $5 towards the Chappell Family. For every $5 we will put your name on the list…. so,  $10 we will put your name on twice… $25 five times… and so forth.  ON the 24th I will do a videotaped recording of the random choosing of one of the entries and will announce it on the blog and contact you through email or facebook.  I will then pack up all the goodies and send it your way to enjoy!!!

You can also get extra entries by sharing on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter after you’ve donated. Just comment on this post and let me know where you shared so I can count them!! (otherwise I won’t know you shared!!)

Without further adieu….. Welcome Home!


best of belonging basket BLOG-003

All of this stuff is awesome, but I have to start with my VERY Favorite thing in this basket. It’s the Two Sues Kelly Moore Bag in Walnut. Ya’ll, it’s THE BEST CAMERA BAG IN THE WORLD!! It’s firm but slouchy, it’s designed for gear but holds anything! I know, because I’ve tried ALL the main brands in a search for the best one. I’m super hard on my gear and I take my camera everywhere. I’ve had so many bags fall apart on me… but not this one! You NEED this camera bag! Honestly, it’s held up better than any diaper bag I’ve had as well. A new one in honor of Isla will probably be on my Christmas list this year.  For a great complete review of this exact bag check out THIS Blog post. It’s pricey at $200… but it’s so worth it and then some.

best of belonging basket BLOG-004

best of belonging basket BLOG-005

And While I wish I could include a fabulous DSLR camera in here… I can’t, BUT… I can include my next favorite camera. It’s an Instax Mini 90.  And this one is super classy! It can fit in your purse/camera bag with your other camera or be on display on a shelf at home ready for a quick fun pic of when company comes over. My friend Lara Casey has a tradition of taking photos when company comes over and puts the images on the fridge with wash tape. What a great way to celebrate others and to celebrate home and family! I’m including film for 40 photos as well!

best of belonging basket BLOG-006

The Kids LOVED smiling and then instantly being able to shake their photo and watch it appear and then be so proud of themselves when they see their photos hanging on the wall this way.

best of belonging basket BLOG-007

I think it was a few years ago that I took the INSPIRED HOME photography course by Kristin Rogers and it was wonderful. I think someone starting out in shooting and those wanting to shoot more at home in a way that captures the everyday moments will definitely benefit from this self paced course! It was very creative and encouraging and I think you will benefit from it. So I’m including it so you can have an INSPIRED HOME! Warning: Her photos WILL make you want to pack up and move to California!

moon design studio co. presents

best of belonging basket BLOG-008

With 5 kids…. I don’t have time to read. BUT for these books I MADE the time to read them. My heart needed them. My life needed them.

With the Nesting Place I finally embraced being a renter and stopped saying “I’ll do this to my home when we buy someday”. It was full of practical yet profound advice on making home feel and be home.

For the Love made me laugh so hard. It’s like sitting and having a conversation with Jen Hatmaker. You need this one… for so many reason! She challenges and she does it in a way that makes you say inwardly “Yes!!”

Speaking of Yes… The Best Yes was super impactful. I devoured this book. It really met me where I am in this season of life… but really I think would do that no matter the season. It gave me freedom and boundaries and the wisdom to choose what’s best in our life and for our family.

Bread and Wine is a book that’s centered around The Lord Supper and has so much to do with hospitality and being around the table. It has stories, recipes and so much more.

best of belonging basket BLOG-009

I think I am drawn to books with Pretty Handwritten titles… ya think.

speaking of pretty handwriting…..  Aren’t these prints beautiful! My friend Holly Everett who is a brilliant hand letterer made these for you. They are printed on thick sturdy paper and are letterpressed into it. Please check out her work… She is also in the process of adoption and the proceeds from her artwork goes towards bringing baby Everette home! I love her Instagram feed!!   She’s one of those online friends turned real life friends for me. I treasure her so.

best of belonging basket BLOG-010

I couldn’t do a collection about celebrating the little moments at home without including some Project life! It’s my favorite way of preserving images once they are printed. PRINT YOUR PHOTOS FRIENDS!! (I usually print them at Costco… but also love Persnickity Prints Lab as well. I print them and they go in simple but cute as a button photo boxes that are super inexpensive, don’t let what you do with them afterwards keep you from printing them!)

Project life is basically putting photos in pockets. It’s easy peasy and super cute as well! I’m including a gorgeous gold 12×12 album and a Project life core kit that is ADORABLE!! Friends, that and your photos is all you need to create an awesome photo album…. and it can be put together in a matter of hours. (with none, NADA of those sticky little tabs or scraps of paper or glue sticks!)

best of belonging basket BLOG-011

This is the adventure edition core kit. It’s all you need for journaling and making those pages beautiful! This one is probably the sweetest and favorite core kit I’ve seen yet.

best of belonging basket BLOG-012

It’s sticking photos in pockets…. ya’ll.  simple & sweet.

best of belonging basket BLOG-014

One of the things that is needed for great journaling, lettering, writing… is pens. And Le’Pen pens are the best! They are similar to Sharpie pens but thinner and definitely smoother to write with. They come in countless colors and are so nice and sleek and take up barely any space in your journaling, scrapbooking place or your purse.

best of belonging basket BLOG-015

I kind of have an obsession with washi tape. I use it for everything and it never ceases to make me happy when I do. It hangs prints, calendars, photos…. seals letters, gifts, it’s great for adding a pop of color or print wherever you need one.  Not all washi tapes are equal. I hate getting a roll only to find that it rips and tears and doesn’t hold worth anything. But Love My Tape Washi Tapes are GREAT! So you’re getting 9 awesome rolls of happy!

best of belonging basket BLOG-016


Having 5 kids requires lots of organization so calendars are part of my love language! And for years my favorite calendars have come from The Paper Source. I swoon over all their stuff…. but especially their wall calendars! My favorite one is THIS 17 month 2015-2016 chalk art one. So… it’s included!

best of belonging basket BLOG-013


And just like last time… I want to include a giveaway for a friend of whose name is drawn. She has to be an adoptive/foster mom…. and I think she will be over the moon excited about this. It’s a gift certificate for a softcover album from Artifact Uprising. I LOVE this album company. LOVE it! The prints are super rich and beautiful. And it’s affordable.

There you have it…. The Best of Belonging Collection!! Over $600 worth!!!!  I love it… I think you will too.  It’s all about celebrating the things God has given you in your life to treasure. Things money can’t buy. Those are the best things… things worth celebrating!

best of belonging basket BLOG-003

best of belonging basket BLOG-017

Pin It
  • MeganSeptember 2, 2015 - 8:31 am

    I tweeted! ☺ReplyCancel

  • Angey PriceSeptember 2, 2015 - 9:14 am

    You know o want this! Amazing basket!!! I shared on fb and I’ll be donating once my husband tells me how much I can! 😉 love you!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • KatieSeptember 2, 2015 - 6:33 pm

    Shared on facebook (Katie King) and twitter (@adopted_kings)!ReplyCancel

  • HannahSeptember 3, 2015 - 11:43 am

    Shared on Facebook! :)ReplyCancel

  • amanda eickSeptember 3, 2015 - 5:39 pm

    I am donating $ for Angey(5 for Cullen and 5 for Angey) cause I think she should have this one…

    love you and praying for your sweet new girl…………………

    I will give angey the $ to send with her donationReplyCancel

  • amanda eickSeptember 3, 2015 - 5:39 pm

    I am donating $ for Angey(5 for Cullen and 5 for Lincoln) cause I think she should have this one…

    love you and praying for your sweet new girl…………………

    I will give angey the $ to send with her donationReplyCancel

  • Kristin ClarySeptember 7, 2015 - 3:57 pm

    Shared!! And so excited for y’all!ReplyCancel

  • angie warrenSeptember 7, 2015 - 7:19 pm

    Happy to be a part of this with you! Donated, and shared on FB!ReplyCancel

  • angie warrenSeptember 7, 2015 - 7:23 pm

    Annnnnnd on Twitter :)ReplyCancel

  • RachelSeptember 8, 2015 - 3:46 pm

    Finally watched Twila’s homecoming. Tears flowing. Beautiful.ReplyCancel

    • RachelSeptember 9, 2015 - 8:19 am

      Donated and shared on Facebook! Blessings…ReplyCancel

  • Becky GardnerSeptember 15, 2015 - 7:23 pm

    Shared on FB, Instagram. :)ReplyCancel

  • Joy KramerSeptember 15, 2015 - 9:14 pm

    I shared on Facebook!ReplyCancel

  • MIchelle MonkSeptember 17, 2015 - 5:52 pm

    I posted on Facebook for yooooouuuuu! :)ReplyCancel

  • Mandi MorganSeptember 18, 2015 - 8:56 am

    shared on FB!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle MonkSeptember 18, 2015 - 8:58 am

    Shared on Instagram!!ReplyCancel

  • Tori GillitSeptember 18, 2015 - 12:41 pm

    Just shared to my business IG account babe! Hope so many people see the beautiful gift the process of adoption truly is and donate!!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa WilliamsSeptember 18, 2015 - 1:28 pm

    I shared on FB ?)ReplyCancel

  • Maria Parrish-EichmanSeptember 19, 2015 - 5:40 pm

    Congratulations on your new baby! We made a donation and shared on FB! :)ReplyCancel

  • Brittney Rogers-ShinSeptember 20, 2015 - 10:30 am

    Shared on Facebook! Wishing you the best!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay Stone RoseSeptember 21, 2015 - 11:43 am

    I donated and shared on FB. I love her name! :) Wishing you all the best as you go through this journey.ReplyCancel

  • April MSeptember 21, 2015 - 2:53 pm

    Donated and shared on FB!ReplyCancel

  • Emily DalzellSeptember 21, 2015 - 5:44 pm

    Shared on fb. Such a neat giveaway idea! :)ReplyCancel

  • Amy HeinzerothSeptember 21, 2015 - 8:23 pm

    Congratulations!! Love this!!ReplyCancel

  • Dana HaynesSeptember 21, 2015 - 10:13 pm

    Okay! I shared on FB & IG & made a little donation! I would fall out if I won this! My bday is Sept 23! and this would be the COOLEST gift!!!! But, not as cool as sweet Isla. :) So it’s a win-win. Either way, Isla gets home to you guys! And that is awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Candice MacDonnellSeptember 22, 2015 - 1:30 pm

    Loved and shared on my business page! Hope this bit helps you and your AWESOME family- I ended up staying up so late reading through your blog. May you guys always have lots of laughter and happiness in your life.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole franklin RossSeptember 23, 2015 - 7:39 am

    Yay Isla! Loved this post and shared on FB, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. Lots of love to you, mama! :) NicoleReplyCancel

  • AliciaSeptember 23, 2015 - 8:27 am

    Donated!! Praying for a big, big financial blessing through this for sweet Isla’s adoption.ReplyCancel

  • AngieSeptember 23, 2015 - 8:38 am

    Just wanted to give just a wee bit more. Xoxo!!ReplyCancel

  • AngieSeptember 23, 2015 - 8:43 am

    Andddd one more share! Hope this has brought you tremendous encouragement and financial support!!ReplyCancel

  • StephanieSeptember 23, 2015 - 12:12 pm

    Made an entry via fb, Instagram, and Twitter! So cool. Praying. For all of you and isla!ReplyCancel

  • TaylorSeptember 23, 2015 - 9:04 pm

    I donated and shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
    I just came across your blog for the first time via Kelly Moore Bag’s Facebook page (LOVE her and them), and I absolutely love what I have came across so far. I am praying for you, your husband, and your beautiful children!! May God Bless you and yours!! :) <3ReplyCancel

  • Ellen MorrisSeptember 23, 2015 - 9:10 pm

    Shared on FB/Insta/Twitter! So excited for your sweet family! What an amazing basket of goodies!ReplyCancel

I wanted to post about this article because I wanted to stand up and jump up and down and say YES!!! THIS!!!! as I was reading the whole thing…. Here are a few excerpts of my favorite parts… but really it all was my favorite so go read it HERE. 

The end of mass abortion to the Christian can only mean the commitment to either serious mother-mentorship or mass adoption.

And this isn’t going to be volunteering at the pregnancy crisis center every, you know, 6 months. This is going to be 31,000 new babies in my state alone that either need a new home or a mother who has been mentored and supported to keep her baby post-birth. This will require changing the life of everyChristian family in every church. This will mean a lot more mouths to feed and mothers to mentor, and a lot less time for excuses on how busy we are.

This personally challenges me when I look around at my life, at my house even. We have an extra bedroom. It was originally intended for guests to have their own separate room and bathroom. But guess what? If the end of abortion ever comes, then I’d better be ready to have that room permanently filled with a mom in crisis or an adopted child. Sorry guests, you may have to—gasp!—travel a few extra feet to the bathroom next time or maybe even—how insane!—stay in a hotel for the weekend.

See, this abortion thing is more than just opening up a sign at a protest. It’s opening up your home, your whole life.

Are we willing to do that?

The goal of a pro-lifer is to give a chance to an unborn baby to be welcomed in the world. The goal of a Christian is for an unborn baby is to be welcomed in a home. The mission of a pro-lifer is to lobby until the system changes for unborn babies. The mission of a Christian is to, sure, try to do the same, but furthermore, astound the society by using its own resources to take in those children regardless if the system changes or not.

The cry of a pro-lifer is “don’t kill them.”

The cry of a Christian is “we want them.”

Thank you Ashley for penning these challenging and beautiful words! May many hearts be impacted by them.

stand for life

IF you want to have this filter put on one of your photos… Go to

Pin It
  • Ashley GormanAugust 29, 2015 - 7:16 am

    I’m SO overwhelmingly honored that you’d choose to feature this as your favorite post of the year! What a privilege! Thanks so much for reading the post, and much love and support to you and yours.

    -Ashley M. Gorman
    If you want to connect: (Twitter + Instagram: @ashmarvgorma)ReplyCancel

Dear 17 year old, Mentor elementary age kids and become best friends with middle schoolers. They will become fellow moms and dads and the age difference won’t matter a bit. In fact you might be learning a lot from them in 20 years.

Dear 21 Year old, Spend your summers in far away lands. Sign up for every mission trip you can. Do Radical things and see things that make you be in Awe of the Creator on a regular basis. Oh… and print real photos of your travels. Your kids will want you to tell them all about your adventures.

Dear 27 year old,
Be way more concerned and passionate about putting your investment of time, energy and money into other people vs. a bank account. You might be shocked to see that when you’re making even less in 10 years as a mom or dad with a job thats family friendly vs. the working all the time person you were back then… you’ll be richer somehow and wish you had slowed down and spent more time and less money back then. p.s. when you are making money, buy furniture that will LAST!

Love, A well traveled wealthy 37 year old!

Pin It

Drumrolll please…….

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 9.34.49 AM


Now…. Wasn’t that fun? Well… okay, not near as fun if I could have sent everyone awesome beauty supply. It’s SO hard to announce only one name. But I’m so humbled that you guys gave not only because you love makeup but because you see the beauty in Adoption!!!  I love you!!!

Want a little sneak peak into next month’s basket? It’s going to be called the Best of Belonging Basket!! <3 Hope to have it up on the blog by the end of the month.

kelly moore bag and abel

Pin It

Beauty is as Beauty does.   

This basket is MUCH more than just fun products and everyday routines… it’s about bringing beauty and belonging to the life of those who have families waiting and longing to wrap their arms around them and say you belong with me.  

After adopting Abel we quickly knew that we would want him to share in the joy of having a sibling with a similar story as his.  So we renewed our home study and got back on the NDSA registry and after lots of calls and possible situations we have been matched!!

It’s a girl! Due October 20th! And she will not only share the love chromosome bond with her brother but also his birth state of Nevada! Yes, we will have another Vegas Baby! We will strike it rich there twice… what are the odds of that?


#theluckyfew is used because the numbers of babies diagnosed with T21 who are aborted is around 93%. So we are over the moon excited that our family will belong to two of these lucky few!

Our Adoption being a private domestic special needs adoption* will be around 7 Thousand for fees and then whatever travel to Las Vegas, lodging for us while she is in the hospital and once she’s discharged while we wait for ICPC to clear us to go home.   (*domestic special needs adoption costs range from nothing… to 25K… it really depends on the agency you go through, in our case it will be through Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada) 

But something that IS happening sooner… like as you are reading this soon… is our friends The Gerber family is heading to China to bring home an adorable little girl who also has the super power that’s found in that extra 21st chromosome!

Check out this sweetheart! Ruthie is a 4 year old little girl with Down Syndrome who can’t wait to have a family of her very own.

A portion of this basket’s donations will go to help her family bring her home and get settled into her her family and community.


So without further ado….


I love love LOVE stores like Sephora, Ulta and Mac. I think my many years as a cosmetologist and in the wedding industry  as well as desiring a simple life has given me a love for quality products. I want a few products that I know work and last and that I will use all of it. How many of you have lots of products you don’t use but are taking up space in your makeup bag or bathroom?

This collection is worth $600!! Again, quality is costly but if it’s things that lasts, and stands the test of time and saves you time then I find them to be very worthwhile investments.

So… Here’s how this basket of goodies can be at your front door in a few weeks!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED!!!! Thank you to everyone who participated and helped bring our baby girl home. You are Beautiful! 

Alright now…. on to the good stuff!


Best of Beauty Basket-002

Face the music:  The first step to awesome looking makeup is awesome looking skin.  Origins skincare has been a favorite of mine for some time now. They are paraben free and free of lots of toxic ingredients. Now, while I may not be able to have everything natural… I can choose some things to get my routine started on a great foot.   Modern Friction is the BEST face scrub… it’s soft but definitely is doing it’s job! Then I follow up with Check and Balances... Ya’ll this is so gentle and creamy and minty and works great even for my combination skin issues.  Then about once or twice a month… I use Clear Improvement. This stuff is BLACK and uses charcoal to make your skin feel cleaner than ever. I even use the tiniest dab on my blemishes and they take care of them super quickly! It’s the best face mask to use for a sleepover because it is so fun to put this dark as mud mask on!

Best of Beauty Basket-003

All about those lips…bout those lips:   This is my Favorite combo… okay, I probably should stop saying favorite because these all are obviously my favorites.   I’m a MAC girl. I love this brand. And one thing I swear by is their Lip Liners and Lip sticks. But since lipstick is tricky to pick just one, I went with a lip liner that is super versatile and will look great on anyone and can be used for a dark look or a super natural one. The shade you’re getting is Whirl and is one of my favorites as well as supposedly one of Kylie Jenners go-to liners.  It just so happens to pair super nicely with my TOP pick Lipgloss which is Buxom (gotta love these names) in Dolly. Of all the lip glosses I’ve tried… this is the winner, it’s minty, it’s not sticky, it lasts, and it delivers great color! This is a pinkish nude color which everyone will love!  Elf…. okay, as much as people swear it has a lot of dupes for high end brands… it just doesn’t in my opinion. BUT I do love their Lip Exfoliator. It looks just like a lipstick and it goes on like a rough sugar and even tastes fine if you get any in your mouth, you scrub and then wipe off and you’re set for any type of gloss or lipstick!


Day and Night: That’s the difference a good concealer and contour will provide.  There are actually a lot of pretty good drugstore brand concealers out there but I find that after you spend $8-9 on them and they don’t last as long I’d rather invest a little more and get something I know works and lasts!  And Bo-ing by Benefit takes the cake!  It’s Industrial Strength y’all… but it’s not cakey at all and can be layered well. It’s perfect for under eyes! TRUST me as a mom of lots of littles I know A LOT about undereye issues!!

Benefit Cosmetics also brings us our contouring powder. Benefit Hoola comes in a cute box and goes on beautifully matte. I hate bronzers with shimmer… so this does not have any it in.  It’s also important that you have a bronzer that isn’t super orange… this is really neutral.  For super ivory pale skin I’ve found that NYX eyeshadow in taupe is great to use for contouring. You can dust this all over or use it to help give your face some definition!  Some go overboard with contouring and unless you’re having photos taken then I’d just use it in one or two ways in this chart. ———————->




Best of Beauty Basket-004

Monica and I got to each pick one of our favorite fragrances and get a purse size bottle of it for you. Hers was Happ & Stahns Tear Catcher from from Anthropologie. Can I just say that I love that they now carry makeup!! This scent is a light mix of wisteria… grapefruit and alba roses! I’m now a fan. I want to try their lipsticks but just need to wait to use up the ones I have first.

Did I make you Blush?:  Picking a favorite blush was a bit tricky for me because I LOVE blushes! I think they add instant life to my face and they just make me happy! A lady one time told me that it’s scientifically proven that looking at all the colors of makeup increases seratonin levels in women. hmmm… Well, not really sure about that, but whatever the case… I get happy when I play with blushes! I really like Mac, Cargo and The Balm blushes. They all pack color and are beautiful. But this one by Tarte…. it’s all of those and it LASTS 12 hours!! Their Amazonian clay line is great and every color is awesome. But this one, as shocking as it looks is the perfect natural looking flush.  The shade is actually called Natural Beauty. I used it the other day on Monica’s daughter who is 12 and she texted me the next day and said… where do I get that?

Best of Beauty Basket-007

Best of Beauty Basket-006

Eyes are the window to the soul: If that’s the case.. then let’s draw some attention to them. I typically use Mac eyeshadows on myself but it’s hard to pick a few shadows that go with everyone’s style. So I wanted to give away a eyeshadow pallet.  As a makeup artist at many weddings I’ve come to call this Natural Eyes Eyeshadow pallet by Too Faced as my go to Winner!! It gives several beautiful looks and can do day looks as well as night. It’s shadows are pigmented and it lasts ALL day. Especially when paired with their Shadow Insurance. It’s sheer so any skin color can use it. And you can use it under any eyeshadows to give you a long lasting look. (as much as I love the look and colors of the UD Naked Pallets they just have so much fall out that I feel like my whole face looks glittery after just a little while)

Ask any makeup artist and they will tell you that Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliners are the BOMB!! And they are. They go on like butter and they won’t budge once dry! These are great for all day lines and to kick it up a notch they are perfect for lining your waterline (the secret to getting those smokey sultry eyes). This one is the best deep black… but they have a ton of other shades as well. This one is just the one that looks great on everyone! (especially you brown eyed beauties!)

Best of Beauty Basket-008

You’ve got to bat your eyes like this….: Mascara is probably second runner up to my favorite make up product. But it’s tricky too because so many mascaras flake off and leave my eyes a hot mess by the end of the day.  They’re Real by Benefit… it goes on and STAYS on. Actually, you’ll want to remove this with makeup remover or coconut oil works great too. But I’ve found that with mascara I get the high end travel size and it’s really great because once I go through it it’s about time for me to get a fresh tube.

Best of Beauty Basket-005

Brushing up on Tools: If you’ve never purchased quality makeup brushes… then you’re missing out. They are by far my best investment in my makeup bag. They last forever. I’ve had some for probably 10 years and with proper care they still work great. (proper care does not include your child dumping fingernail polish on them… I might have cried that day.) But the two brands of brushes I use are Mac and Sigma (which are made to be a duplicate of Mac brushes) So I got you two Mac brushes.  The 129 is a blush brush! Works great for blush and/or contouring. And the 224 A F SAVVwhich if you know the secret to a professional eyeshadow look it’s blend… blend…blend, and this is a wonderful blending brush.  There are many more brushes to add but these are a great start to having a quality set!

Best of Beauty Basket-012

Two things I feel are the key to fuller hair! Roller Brushes and a good root lifting and finishing product. My favorite one right now is It’s a 10 Miracle Blowdry Volumizer spray. It smell great and works! It’s pricey… but I had to include it for you.  In all my years of hairstyling… I wouldn’t be without my Kenra 25 hairspray. It’s won so many awards as a hairspray and it earned every one! It’s incredible! So you’re getting a can of it.

Also drying your hair with a roller brush. Well, actually I recommend drying it with a dryer and your hands and then finishing it off with the roller brush!  These are Jibere lightweight ceramic roller brushes that I have used for decades now.

Best of Beauty Basket-011

Get’er done: I HATE spending a ton of time fixing my hair. I don’t have a ton of time to fix my hair. And as a hairdresser time equals money. So when I started using the Rusk Speed Freak Hair Dryer I knew I had found my best friend! It seriously cuts time off of drying and it’s super powerful!   I also use Hot Tools curling iron which heats up so nicely and makes curling my hair not such a daunting task.  I’m linking to Kate’s How to Video on curling hair HERE.  She even uses a Hot Tools Iron!!  A curling iron is a must have… even if you have curly hair already, you’d be surprised how you can take it to the next level with a few curls here and there with a curling iron. If you get this basket we will order the size that best fits your needs!

And my little loves… bobbi pins! If you buy bobbi pins in the store, they hold like crap, or so I’ve found. So I get the professional ones and those can take a hairstyle from blah to wow in a few minutes! So I’m including some for you whatever your hair color may be. Also… I love using little dishes to keep bobbi pins (so they don’t fall into the abyss behind my bedside table) and I love this gold and white one, so you’re getting that too!!

Best of Beauty Basket-010

After 12 years behind the salon chair, I can’t think of a salon brand shampoo I haven’t used.  My very first salon was an Aveda Concept Salon and their Shampure shampoo and conditioner became my first love I guess you’d say. And I still LOVE it. The smell is heavenly, lightweight and It’s also paraben free.

Best of Beauty Basket-009

One of my closet friends Kristin introduced me to the light airy scent of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue when she lived with us a few years back. It’s wonderful and makes me think of her! And you’ll love it too.


These goodies might seem like nothing fancy… BUT they are essentials and I really had to include them!

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 4.22.18 PM

* My Tweezerman Tweezers! MUST HAVE!!! And they are in bright colors so you don’t lose them in your purse or makeup bag! These are so precise and I’ve had a pair last me years! (and gals, they are ONLY $5 at Sallys… right near the checkout)

* Nail buffer. It just makes such a huge difference when you use this and then paint your nails!

* Target Makeup Removing wipes. I’ve also used these for years and when you have 5 kids and you want to fall in bed at night, these are perfect for taking the day off without a huge nightly face washing routine.

* My mother in law gave this razor to me last christmas and I absolutely love it. It’s something I probably would never have bought for myself but I haven’t used anything but these razors since! It’s so super smooth and very forgiving when you go days… ahem… weeks between shaves!

Best of Beauty Basket-013

And my basket wouldn’t be complete without OPI. Seriously, I try new polishes all the time and nothing yet holds a candle to OPI staying power! These are my three top classic colors, Big Apple Red, Bubble Bath and How Great is your Dane, and a top coat!!  This collection will have your nails looking fabulous for fall, everyday and even into the holidays!

AND FINALLY… You get to also be a giver when you get this basket!! Giving is SO fun! Whoever gets this bundle gets to give an Adoptive mom of their choice a $50 gift card to Sephora! How fun would that be for a mom who probably would love nothing more than a little shopping spree at a makeup store!

sephora gift card

So there you go…. THE BEST of Beauty Favorites!  $600 worth of wonderfulness and pampering!Best of Beauty Basket-015This benefit is closed but I hope you still enjoy looking at all my favorite recommendations!!

Pin It
  • caseychappellAugust 4, 2015 - 6:10 pm

    Sorry guys about the glitch in the comment section! I’m running some updates and trying to figure out why it won’t let people comment. Check back with the post and leave a comment once I get it up and running. Thanks for being a part of this adventure!ReplyCancel

  • Jamie KellyAugust 7, 2015 - 8:06 am

    Shared on fb! I don’t know you at all, but I’m very excited for your family!ReplyCancel

  • Becky GardnerAugust 10, 2015 - 10:19 pm

    Donated and double-shared! Blessings!!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole franklin RossAugust 13, 2015 - 9:38 am

    So excited for you guys!!!! Hooray! (And to get the word out, my big mouth fb shared, re-iGrammed, pinned and tweeted your news! Congrats!)ReplyCancel

  • brettAugust 14, 2015 - 3:44 pm

    Shared on FB! One day I would love to meet you and your beautiful family!!ReplyCancel

  • Angie fletchAugust 15, 2015 - 11:00 am

    Sharing on Facebook and Instagram. What a beautiful story you have! And we love all the same products. Be my friend! Haha Seriously though, praying for protection and a smooth adoption process for you and your friends.ReplyCancel

  • VeroniqueAugust 18, 2015 - 4:35 pm

    I just donated and shared on FB and IG!ReplyCancel

  • Brandy SeagoAugust 18, 2015 - 9:21 pm

    Gave and pinned! So excited you get another superpower baby in your family!ReplyCancel

  • Laura JonesAugust 19, 2015 - 9:31 pm

    Hey Casey! So excited for both families!!!
    I donated and share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
    I thought of you last night. A sweet friend spent time teaching me some makeup tips and sharing her fav products. It was a lot of fun. You two could talk and play for hours. I would have fun just watching you two get so excited about it all. It’s about time I start looking classy so let’s hope I win! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Emily ByfordAugust 19, 2015 - 10:13 pm

    Shared on FB. Excited for you, sweet friend!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah LindenAugust 19, 2015 - 10:18 pm

    I love you and what you’re doing! You inspire me, do you know that? I hope so, because I’m serious! Donated and shared on Facebook. Looking forward to seeing you soon.ReplyCancel

  • MarissaAugust 20, 2015 - 9:42 pm

    Donated and shared to Facebook and Instagram! So so excited for your family!ReplyCancel

  • SamanthaAugust 21, 2015 - 5:23 pm

    So excited for you! Shared on fb and twitter!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie DeanAugust 21, 2015 - 7:35 pm

    so excited! Shared on Facebook and Twitter!ReplyCancel

  • Holli StanfordAugust 22, 2015 - 3:08 pm

    Wow. This makes supporting adoption easy. 😉 Im not sure if I entered correctly but $25 dollars donated through PayPal ( and shared on Instagram, facebook, and Twitter.ReplyCancel

  • Jess ConnellyAugust 22, 2015 - 7:32 pm

    This is such a fun idea and we are so excited for you guys! I shared on Instagram and Facebook (I am not a Twitter person)😊ReplyCancel

  • KatieAugust 22, 2015 - 7:37 pm

    Posted on Instagram and Facebook. Praying for lots of money raised for these sweet chosen littles!ReplyCancel

  • JordanAugust 22, 2015 - 10:44 pm

    Posted on fb and insta a couple of times… Before I knew it got me “bonus points!” So excited! And someone I know but you don’t know donated. Which fills my heart with crazy joy! Your story is worth sharing!!!ReplyCancel

  • Katie BakerAugust 23, 2015 - 12:25 pm

    Shared on FB!ReplyCancel

The Identify Network

Have you ever been in a place in your life where you are at peace and settled but part of you feels ready to bolt at any time…. I have. I think it’s honestly been more of where I stay in my life than a place I get from time to time.

I’m feeling it big time lately! The past two months of going ALL IN to this new ministry has been so incredibly exciting, and also unbelievably exhausting.  I’m smiling as I write this because I see God’s hand all over this and at work in my life and the life of my husband in ways we haven’t ever experienced before. I can see how trusting Him through losing our son, through five quick one right after the other adoptions, through marriage difficulty, through a move across country, through the churches we’ve been members of, and through SO MUCH that He’s carried us to and through. I see how each and every thing has been preparing us to trust and obey, to take and leap and lead, to put it all out there and not look back, to tell our story and to give Him the pen to write more.

At first I was acting like we just would keep living life as usual and add a ministry on top of it all…. not so much.  We are starting a chapter of life where this is our life. It’s our family ministry, it’s our family being on mission together. And that will bring some awesomeness like having daddy home for most meals and getting to travel together. It will also bring some big time adjustments like not having summers off and me having to work with the ministry along side of Dan on a daily basis. We will adjust and we will find out what works best for our crew within our calling.

I have found in this process already two surprises in launching this ministry that I’ve been processing in my head and heart. They are things that weigh heavy on my heart as I fall asleep and when I wake up.  First, The Identify Network is FOR the Church.  And it’s in a way for the church who is struggling with things like loving others who don’t believe as we do, and understanding biblical sexuality, and having a posture of humility when it comes to some of the culture wars that are being waged right now.  It’s for the church that frustrates me because of the pain that I see it causing those I love.  It’s for the co-worker of mine (the only believer I worked with at the time) who overheard Dan’s testimony a few years ago and marched up to the christian school Dan worked at and demanded that a pervert like him be fired or else.  It’s for the church who when my friend confided in her friend that she was struggling with same-sex attraction found herself banned a few weeks later from the children’s department without ever having been talked to… only talked about. It’s for the small groups who when another friend finally found the courage to tell them about her past failures and current battle got chewed out because she had been leading in certain areas of the church and everyone else was so stunned that they just sat there and let her take the lecturing without a bit of grace. It’s for the christian  family who finds out their daughter is becoming their son and can’t handle the pain so they let her walk away into a new life without them.

It’s for them. It’s for a ton of others who do understand grace and love well… but I think where the most impact will be will be with those who don’t.

And the second thing that took my heart off guard is that we will probably lose friends along the way who don’t stand where we stand in the convictions of biblical sexuality. Friendships where previously it was fine that we disagreed… or where it might not have ever or would have ever come up even.  But because this is our focus and ministry calling and we will be very public about equipping the church and counseling those who are struggling and wanting out of a lifestyle that doesn’t identify with Christ, they will choose to distance themselves from us and probably even judge us, call us offensive, and think we are being spiritually abusive. I can to the best of my ability go after those friends and make sure that the conversation is clear and not misunderstood and let them know that it’s okay to disagree on this and still be friends. But I know that to some this will feel like a rejection of them altogether. And I hate that.

So be praying for my heart. Be praying for our family. This is going to grow fast and furious and part of that excites us and part of it scares us.

Real Strength and Courage is a complete


Bulldogs of Belief 

For months I’ve wanted to hone in on a group of ladies to pour into in a greater capacity and to invest in their friendships more consistently.  Friendships are a huge part of my life and I’m not a huge fan of shallow relationships. Time and Deep conversation is definitely my love language! (although happy mail and cute gifts don’t hurt either!) I want to be that kind of friend to a specific group of gals in my life!

And I’ve found over the past few months that the ones who I have felt my heart drawn to are the same one who have been so encouraging to us and who who have asked to contribute to the needs of the ministry (which, ask any non-profit, are abundant in the first year or two). These precious friends are who I’m calling my “bulldogs of belief”. Their loyalty and love to Dan and I and the kids is something fierce and they grip hold of the gospel and don’t let go especially when we need reminding of it! They are the ones who are making sacrifices so that we can further the gospel in a dark and confusing part of the church and society right now.  I’ve got lots of exciting plans and ideas and can’t wait to spend time pouring into the lives of our support team in tangible and creative and consistent ways.

IF you want to be a part of this special group of ladies in my life, please email me at  It’s going to be so good!

bulldog of belief

More Babies: 

Over the past few years I’ve been asked many times “do you think you’ll have any more children biologically?”  And honestly, I don’t know how to always answer that question. We don’t use birth control or actively try to not conceive a child. God’s opened my womb twice to the blessing of a baby and they are thriving in a kingdom much more awesome than life here. I know that I really don’t want to go through loss again. I know that God will sustain us though if we do have to walk that path again. And I know that I am fully satisfied and content with the children He has given us through adoption. In my heart I believe that this is the story He has written and is writing for us for a reason… for probably a million reasons.

And I kinda LOVE LOVE LOVE adoption!

We are still planning on adopting a little baby girl… hopefully THIS year!

She has a baby bed ready for her and she’s already taken over the majority of Abel’s dresser! <3

 I don’t really talk a lot about the details of what’s going on behind the scenes, but at any given time we are getting calls about potential birthparents, emailing back and forth with birthparents, and waiting for the match to be made official.  This takes time and it takes a lot of letting go and trusting God in each situation.

I have only to look at each of my kids and see how perfectly God placed them into my family. He knew those would be the kids He wanted to be ours and nothing could thwart that. I couldn’t have orchestrated it if I tried. So we get a call…. we say yes…. we wait… they pick another family…..we are bummed for a day or two… we wait… we get a call…..we say yes…. we email back and forth….. we rejoice that a birthmother decides to parent…. we wait… we get a call….we say yes… we email back and forth…. we email back and forth again…. we…..  to be continued.  😉

Best of Basket Coming Your way!  

In light of that… and we hope the adoption happens sooner than later…. HOW about we do a BEST OF BASKET Giveaway ????

I had so much fun with them 3 years ago with them….. It was clear ya’ll loved them too. So I’m teaming up with my good friends The Gerber Family who are bringing home two awesome kids home from China SOON!!!

I’ll have it up on the blog sometime the first week of August!  And it’s going to be BEAUTY-FULL!!!

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 3.41.46 PM

Pin It
  • Nicole Wilson ConleyJuly 20, 2015 - 8:06 pm

    Best of Basket!!!!
    And baby girl coming one day!!!
    And going “all in”!!!
    I heart the Chappell family and continue to enjoy seeing how God molds and uses you in the lives of so many! Grace upon grace!ReplyCancel

  • Linda SueJuly 21, 2015 - 8:06 am

    Wow! So much going on! Praying for your latest ministry, and future addition to the Chappell clan! I imagine Abel will be an awesome big brother right along with the other big sisters and brothers!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel KeithJuly 21, 2015 - 10:17 am

    AHHH! I just love you so much. I want to hug your heart.

    So much information here! You were spelling out my feelings in the first third of this post, and so beautifully and purposefully. I am so thankful for the lives you both have led and the lives you both have witnessed to be affected and effective in such a way as you are, and will get to be.
    I love the clarification that this is for the Church and the Churched. I love the entire concept. I love the entire ministry. I will fight for Gods command to love and love well at any time. And that is what you are doing, and it makes me cry with warmth because sometimes it feels like there aren’t people out there who want to love and love well. Like you’re trying to move a giant bolder with a little rock. I love knowing that you both are so passionate in showing love in truth.

    The second third. Just. Oh my goodness. The waves of excitement. oof.

    And the third third. EEEEEEEKKKKKKK!!!!!!!! I LOVEEEEEE the baskets. Can I just tell you that every Thanksgiving season I ask to put out our Christmas things early, just so I can look at that beautiful nativity set? And those wonderful ornaments? And that wreath makes me grin every time I see it on our front door? I LOVE this way of funds raising. And they’re always just so stinkin cool!!ReplyCancel

When friends ask me what conferences to attend I usually say, I’m not sure, it depends on what you are looking for but let me tell you about my favorite conference I’ve ever went to.  It’s the Linger Conference. This year Ben stewart gave one of the best messages I’ve heard. It shot right to my heart and has lingered ever since. So I wanted to share it on here… but also so I could have a quick way to find it again when my heart needs the reminders of His sufficiency and provision.

“The world is unimpressed when we talk about the Prince of Peace but live lives of stress.”

Pin It
P i n t r e s t