Why I didn’t blog in January, New Blog design + link up

February 2, 2016

Before I get to the meat of today’s post let me share two things for you:

1). In celebration of my 2 year blogiversary, Garay Treasures got a new blog design, thanks to Haley of June & Mae. Haley spent all of yesterday designing this new space for me and next on the changes is Mailchimp e-mail set up and freebies on the way so stay tuned! You can check out some more of June & Mae’s work here. Also check out one of Haleys guest posts she did for me here on 8 Creative Ways to Use Stock Photography, plus get 26 free stock images here.

2). Thank you everyone for the condolences in yesterdays post, I really appreciate your thoughts, prayers and understanding as my family and I go through this grieving period!

As promised in yesterdays post I thought I would tell you a bit about why I was away for the month of January.


Like last year for the month of January I went on a 21 day (close to a month) fast in January from blogging. Now for someone like myself that just started this space as a place for community building, as a creative outlet and income this was a tough decision, but I knew God was calling me to do it even as far back as November 2015 so I made preparations with some other bloggers ahead of time to fill in as guest posters and even a lead host for my weekly link up (this one actually) so thank you Tiffany!

Below are some questions I thought I would answer as I am sure like last year there will be some readers that will ask about different aspects of fasting or wonder more why I did, so here we go:

Why fast?- It’s in Gods word to do so and while there are so many verses and references for how to fast, or how Jesus and his disciples did so here is a verse that stands out “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6) A fast is simply yearning to be closer to God, be in prayer and humble ourselves before God, casting away distractions such as food we love, entertainment even social medias or blogging and to give that time instead to Christ to feel truly satisfied in Him.

What did I fast from?- I fasted from blogging of course. I didn’t comment (except maybe once, just being honest) and I didn’t worry about putting together a post or reading other blogs. Instead I dug out my Bible more and more and prayer journal and found myself praying more for others than myself, which is ground breaking. I prayed for some of you (my readers) specifically some whom I know have had family issues for quite sometime from bad news, infertility, job changes, to sick children and I will continue to do so. I began praying for certain things to get paid off and they did and the list goes on and God did miracles left and right.

Did I fast food and drink?- I stayed clear of sweets, meats and grain. I will admit I slipped some in these areas but I didn’t let it eat me up or put me through a guilt trip, instead I prayed about it and tried better the next time. This was probably harder than fasting the blogging aspect as I love my sweets and there are only so many meals without meat.

What did I learn through this fast or what did God show me?- I have been selfish through this blog. There I said it! I placed this blog above everything else in life and it caused me both stress and self-gratification. Fasting turned my self-centered attitude into thinking of how I could bring my family or faith more into blogging. God opened so many doors this way and I even saw excitement in my husband for my new blogging endeavors. Look for more family involvement coming to the blog next week and so forth, from mommy and me posts, to hubby and wife style collaborations, etc.

Have any other questions for me, don’t hesitate to ask below and I may be able to answer them?


Now on to today’s outfit, I went on a date a few weeks back and this was one of the outfits worn. I loved the dressed up casual comfy feel and look and stayed quite comfortable.




This kimonocho (Kimono/Poncho) is from The Flourish Market, a boutique that specializes in sharing about and spreading dignity and fair wages to artisans and communities around the globe. This kimonocho was actually a gift of choice from a giveaway in collaboration with Molly of Still Being Molly and the The Flourish Market and I loved it so much I knew I needed to give a shout out to this boutique as I couldn’t be more grateful for what they are doing to help others in less fortunate situations or communities.


I also commend Molly for having a passion for local and online businesses alike that spread love and dignity to women, artisans or students in need. So to Molly and The Flourish Market, thank you! I wear this with pride!

Outfit details: Kimoncho- The Flourish Market, same//Top: Old Navy, similiar//Necklace: Mint Julep Boutique, similar//Leggings: Target, same//Boots: UGG, similar//Purse: Kate Spade, similar.

Now on to “Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me” link up:

Meet your Host: Rachel of Garay Treasures blog:



Rachel is a former full time preschool special education teacher turned full time stay-at- home mom of four children with a passion for substitute teaching and blogging at Garay Treasures on the side. Garay Treasures is a fashion and lifestyle blog with some added posts on faith and everyday treasures. Rachel loves drinking several cups of coffee a day (hot or iced), blogging, and reading and playing with her children. You can follow Rachel by bloglovin, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

Meet your co-host Melissa of Mahogany Closet


You can follow Melissa through the following social media channels: Instagram, Facebook & Bloglovin.

Now on to the featured five from last time and link up:


I loved Sheree’s idea of adding white accessories and top with her cobalt blue jeans. I have similiar colored jeans and am always looking for ideas to style them outside the comforts of blacks.

Forever 21, Valentines Day Outfit, Utah Fashion Blogger, Modest Fashion Blogger, Valentines Day Look 3

This whole Valentine inspired look by Jalynn was just darling from the colors to accessories, see what I mean here. She actually inspired me to consider future props.


I love Alissas upbeat, comic, down-to-earth, honest to God style blog and here she doesn’t disappoint but rather encourages me as I struggle with weight gain and fashion as well. Take a looksie here to be encouraged.


I loved Laurens’ chunky sweater with loafers look, so much that I want a chunky sweater right now!
See post here.


How yummy does this yogurt parfait look? Alma sure did make one that I wouldn’t mind trying this week. See recipe here.

Now it is your turn, please follow the rules below and enjoy!

1). Please link up recent posts and include the link up button or post this URL link back on your blog. The posts can be about fashion, DIY projects, recipes, inspiration, tips, etc. *If you link up other link ups or giveaways please be sure you share this link up on your link up post to share the blog love and I will be sure to link up to yours. Also please follow me in the below social medias and let me know how you are following and I will follow back. Thank you!

2). Please follow your host Rachel of Garay Treasures either by Bloglovin, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter or all. Comment below and let me know how you are following so I can follow back.

3). Stop by and check out the other bloggers who have linked up and be inspired.

4). Have fun! Comment below if you have any questions! Thanks for linking up!

To link up it would be great if you linked my button to your post that you link up. Get button code below:

Garay Treasures


Linking up with: Turning Heads Tuesday Lisa, Melissa, Style Me Wednesday, Trendy Wednesday, Sandyalamode, Confident Twosday, Pumps and Push-ups, Thursday Fashion Files, Whitney, Grace, Trend-Spin,Leelo, Michelle, The Mummy Chronicles, Alice, Spotlight Weekly, Top of the World Style, Two Peas in a Blog (Tuesdays), Style Elixir (Tuesdays), The Style Files (Fridays), Elegantly Fashionable, Jaymie, Lauren, Carylee, Rachelle, Cappaccino and Fashion, Book of Leisure, Monica, Carrie, Style Me Weekly, Forage Fashion, Myriad Musings, Jennie, Molly, Cherie, Not dead Yet Style, Clairejustinexoxo, Wednesday Wearables

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  • Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom February 2, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Welcome back! I just LOVE the new blog design! I need to redesign mine sometime this year and I want to move to WordPress. That poncho looks great on you, too and you look refreshed!


  • Anna Shirley February 2, 2016 at 12:18 am

    Very inspiring post Rachel. Sometimes we need to do one step back to see our lives from another perspective. I love your new design on your blog. Good job! o)


  • Tiina L February 2, 2016 at 12:21 am

    Welcome back, Rachel! A little break every now and then is good, and restores your energy. i’m so sorry for your loss.

  • Sheree February 2, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Sorry for your loss and I hope that he is in a better place. As for your fasting form blog and other things, I think sometimes we need to be away for a while from things we are so close to to appreciate them as well as see a different light. Congrats on 2yr bloggerversary!! p.s. Thanks for the feature.

    xo Sheree
    IG: @poshclassymom

  • Happiness at Mid Life February 2, 2016 at 12:51 am

    Sending you hugs and prayers for your loss. I think taking a break from the blog is a great idea, it helps to put life back in perspective.

    Thank you for hosting and hope you are having a fab week!


    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

  • Red Tag Chic Los Angeles February 2, 2016 at 1:21 am

    More power to you always Rachel!


  • The Gifted Gabber February 2, 2016 at 1:23 am

    First, I am very sorry for your loss. You should take all the time you need and owe no one any explanation if you need to be MIA for a while.
    Next, I love the new page design. It looks clean and classy. — Amy @ http://thegiftedgabber.com

  • Katie D (Hello Katie Girl) February 2, 2016 at 1:28 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. On a positive note, I’m glad you are back blogging. You have a gorgeous new blog design! I absolutely love the flowers in your title.

  • Jalynn Schroeder February 2, 2016 at 2:36 am

    Yay! Thank you for the feature!!! XO

  • Rachel February 2, 2016 at 2:45 am

    Looks pretty cool 🙂


  • Debbie Stinedurf February 2, 2016 at 5:39 am

    Love the new design Rachel! The kimoncho is perfection…the color, the drapiness…perfect.

  • Andrea Nine February 2, 2016 at 6:25 am

    The new design is gorgeous Rachel!! Just like you are in you cute as a button kimono!! Happy Blogiversay!! You do an amazing job and should feel so proud!! Enjoy this day sweet lady!!

  • Carrie February 2, 2016 at 6:36 am

    Thanks for being honest, Rachel. I for one am on sharing my faith more on my blog too.

  • iris February 2, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Happy Blogiversary! I like the new design, so clean and Fresh!

  • Kathrine Eldridge February 2, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Love your new design! Thanks for sharing why you took a break. I love that God became the focus for you. I need to do that as well. You are an inspiration!


  • Laura February 2, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Love the new design and your kimono! You look amazing!

  • Jill February 2, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Welcome back Rachel and happy Blogversary! Your new blog design is so clean and pretty! I’m also loving your Kimoncho!

    Doused In Pink

  • Brooke February 2, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I love the new design!! Glad you’re back.:)

    pumps and push-ups

  • Osy Stylediarybyosy February 2, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Thanks for sharing this, and happy blogversary.

  • Becky @ bybmg February 2, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Such a pretty new design! Love it!

  • Elle Spann February 2, 2016 at 7:51 am

    so sorry for y’alls loss. good job on blog fasting! I completely understand!
    Southern Elle Style

  • Shea February 2, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Welcome back to blogging Rachel! I really admire you for listening to yourself and to God and taking some time off. I am definitely guilty of letting my blog take over my life and become the most important thing, and while I love it, it is NOT the most important thing in my life. Thanks for this honest reminder.

  • Jaime February 2, 2016 at 8:54 am

    So sorry for your loss, but taking some time off probably helped you grieve. Welcome back to blogging and the new design looks awesome!

  • amy February 2, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Love the poncho!

  • Shauna February 2, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Love the new blog design, and just want to say that I’m so sorry for your loss. Keeping you and your family in my prayers -xo



  • Mary Murnane February 2, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Love the new design and the comfy look!!

    – xox Mary

  • Kirsten Wick February 2, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Good to see you back Rachel, your new design looks fabulous. I’m so sorry for your loss and send you tons of love. Kirsten xx


  • Elise February 2, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Great post! It is always nice to take a break from things.
    Love your kimono and necklace!

    xx, Elise

  • Amy Ann February 2, 2016 at 10:00 am

    You are smart to do a blog fast occasionally. Such a good way to remember priorities. Loving your new design!!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  • cherie February 2, 2016 at 10:19 am

    I love your new blog design. Your month retreat sounds so wonderful. I’m sure you are so refreshed and energized for the new year. Also, my sincerest condolences for your husbands grandfather’s passing. Thank you for hosting and welcome back.


  • Abby February 2, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Love the new blog design! And welcome back!

    Abby of Life in the Fash Lane

  • Elements of Ellis February 2, 2016 at 11:30 am

    So happy to have you back! I think it’s good to take a break from blogging every once in a while to realize what’s really important in life. And I wanted to say that I am so sorry for you loss. You and your family will be in my prayers.


  • Sarah @ Bows and Clothes February 2, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    I love your new blog design! I think that fasting is so beneficial on many levels. I commend you for doing that. Adorable outfit! I love your hair styled that way!


  • Laura February 2, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Great post, welcome back:)


  • Monica February 4, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    I can totally understand taking some time off. When I went on vacation for 2 weeks it was nice to be disconnected from cyber world at least with my blog. Thanks for linking up with me and this will be getting pinned to the linkup board!


  • Onyinye February 7, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Loving the blog’s new look. Sometimes we just need a time off blogging to re-evaluate things.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Modavracha | Fashion and Lifestyle Blog