We are Darie and Carolina Estill, mother and daughter authors at Truly Blissful, and we’re so blessed that you’ve stopped by. Our warmest desire is to inspire you to live a blissful life wherever you are. Your home and life can be beautiful regardless of your income or location, because really, friend, our lives are meant to be healthy and joyful. If it’s lovely, think on that thing. If it’s beautiful, focus there. Look for the good; we promise, you’ll find it.
Life is not always easy, but it is always an adventure. While you’re here, please know that our home and life and family aren’t perfect. We take beautiful pictures to show the blissful parts of who we are and what we do. But we’ll also show you the Behind the Scenes, like how the kitchen looks behind the camera or a bedroom on a day that we haven’t had time to clean! This is real life, y’all. We’ve just tried to see beyond the craziness and enjoy each day as it comes to us. Join us on the journey!
I’m a Christ-follower and try to live out that love in every area of my life. After our amazing Creator and Father, my family is #1, first, at the tip-top of my life! My husband is Marvin, my life’s sidekick and the handsome guy who has stuck it out through life’s (sometime’s not awesome) adventure. We met at Bible College. It was a South by Southwest marriage as I’m from Alabama and he’s from New Mexico. Then there are the crazy kiddos that bring such joy to my life. Trae, Carolina, Hayden, Georgia-Kate and Nathaniel. I birthed four and one we chose. I often thought that at some point I would have a laid back, quiet little child, but noooo, I had 4 wild and crazy babies. So when we decided to adopt I thought, “ maybe I’ll get that quiet kiddo now.” Hahaha! Not a chance. He’s just like the rest of the crew, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
To say tea is a big part of my life would be an understatement. My grandmother would give me a little tea and a lot of milk and sugar every time I visited as a little girl. When I become a college student and eventually a mama, she would still offer a cup of tea at her table in the kitchen as we talked about life. Who knew I’d one day be a purveyor of organic teas and even have my own scone mix business! After I had children, I would read to them each day. I started with Little House in the Big Woods, and we would have tea and a cookie. Years later, we still read and have tea most afternoons.
After many years of dreaming of having a restaurant, our family accidentally opened a restaurant. We wanted to have a coffee/tea shop that served a sandwich, soup and salad so we could minister to our community. Long story short, by day 3 of opening I stood in the back of the kitchen and cried. There were so many people, we didn’t know what to do. For almost 2 years we had a full-time organic restaurant that served from-scratch, slap-your-mama good gourmet food. We also had a wall of dozens of organic teas, herbs and spices, a coffee/tea bar and special afternoon teas. My kids all worked there as servers, bakers, line cooks, dessert makers, and dishwashers. Wow! It was a crazy, wonderful ride!
I looked down at my 6 week old firstborn son 20 years ago and could not imagine dropping him off at daycare or sending him off to school. So risking the possibility of people thinking I was a freak, I decided homeschool was the only option. Eventually, Marv agreed that it was the most awesome thing ever and our journey began. I’ve taught all 5 of my kiddos at home and I don’t regret a minute of it. Yes, there were days I could have shipped them off to Timbuktu, and maybe I locked them outside once or twice…but I wouldn’t change a thing. Everyday with them has been an amazing blessing. Thank God they can all read now…
• I’ve been to Morocco.
• I hate to hear people eat. Or chew gum. Or breath heavy.
• I turned down a modeling career with a New York agency when I was 18. The lifestyle just didn’t fit with my values.
• I don’t eat mushrooms, olives, seaweed or cilantro. Everything else is fair game. And like most sane people, I love bacon. And popcorn. And cheese.
• I pried a snake’s mouth off of Trae’s hand when he was about 8. With a butter knife. Things you never thought you’d say…
1. Jesus and Family
Just as my Mama stated above, Jesus and my family come absolutely first in my life; they are my best friends, truly, and that is such a blessing to be able to say. My parents have always sought after Truth and found it. They have raised us kids in a such an amazing way, and no matter what hardship we have been through, they stuck it out and taught us to do the same while always seeing things as an adventure. My brothers are amazing, I highly esteem them. My sister is such a blessing to me. They are my best friends.
Creation is one of my greatest pleasures. I love animals, nature and science. Mama raised us keeping a nature journal and to always be observing things, both of which help you to learn, to be in awe and figure things out. I love animals, except for when they are very naughty. After seven years of being a caprine keeper, I have become quite the goat expert! I also have owned parakeets, fish, horses, cows, lambs, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks, peacocks, bunnies, cats and dogs. Next, I’m hoping for a zebra…we’ll see if that turns out!
I can be very classic one day, the next a bit funky and the third very soft and feminine. But femininity and modesty is my key…and lipstick, I love lipstick…though not the purple or almost black hues- what’s up with that?? I love coming up with fun hair styles, putting fresh outfits together, thrifted clothes and recreating vintage outfits. I really like period dramas, books and history, and have sometimes thought that I was “born in the wrong era”, however I have found that this is not true. God has put me right here in this time for a reason, and who am I to wish other wise? Keeping that in mind, I still enjoy some of the simple, feminine and sweet old-timey fashions and lifestyle.
4. Eight fun facts about me
• At the age of 16, I was the head barista and bread baker at our cafe, and I made desserts. It was an experience I’ll never forget.
• I have been bitten by a snake…and my little brother, and the tea bug, my goat, my horse, a chicken (more like a peck!), and a lizard.
• A few years ago, 25% of my hair fell out.
• I’m a dancer! Dancing is so much fun! We dance Old English Country Dancing, as well as certain appropriate Swing Dances.
• Having broken my collarbone, I’m the only one of the kids to break anything
• For Christmas when I was twelve, I made my Mama a shirt. I had no sewing knowledge, nor a pattern, but by golly, I was going to sew her a shirt! Let’s just say I did, but it didn’t fit! I still have a desire to make clothes, mostly dresses. I’m slowly teaching myself and hope to make my first dress this summer!
• Chocolate is my one weakness…and tea…and cheese, more tea, bacon, shortbread, please pour me another cup of tea; okay, forget that “one” weakness thing!