Welcome to Truly Blissful Living!  We’re Darie and Carolina Estill, mother and daughter team, 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 circumstances. How? 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 you can allow it to be an adventure.  While you’re here, please know that our home and life and family aren’t perfect.  We love to take beautiful pictures, 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!

1. Jesus and Family. Jesus and my family come absolutely first in my life. 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!  My sister is such a blessing to me.  They are my best friends.

2. Creation is one of my greatest pleasures. I love animals, nature and science. My mom raised us keeping a nature journal and to always be observing. 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!

3. Style I’m a classic, feminine and a bit funky. But femininity and modesty are my keys…and lipstick, I love lipstick. I love fun hair styles, putting fresh outfits together, thrifted clothes and recreating vintage outfits.

4. Four 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.
• I’m a dancer! I love English Country and Swing!
• 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!

1. Family and Jesus 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.

2. Is there anything so lovely as afternoon tea? 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. 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.

3. I’m a chef and restauranteur. 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!

4. I’m one of those homeschool mamas! I looked down at my 6 week old firstborn son 23 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…

5. Five fun facts about me.
• I’ve been to Morocco.
• I hate to hear people eat. Or chew gum. Or breath heavy.
• 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…

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.

C.S. Lewis