My Daily Face Routine

posted in: Uncategorized | 2

Ok – so 41 years in the making, and I think, at least for now, I’ve gotten my face routine down.

Wow.  I remember using Noxzema, Mary Kay, every over the counter product or line basically.  But, now, as I’m getting older my face has regulated (you know, changing in hormones – even with a few autoimmune disorders).

I’ve never really had problematic skin, but would have the typical hormone-related black outs as a teenager (and as a mama!).  Seriously, do you ever get too old for acne – apparently not.

But, I really love my skin right now, so I thought I would share with you the products I use.  None of these are affiliate and I’m not getting paid for any of this.  Just like what I use!

And before I go on, I would like to tell you what I love about my skin: it is so soft right now.  Its not oily.  It breaks out minimally but then clears up very quickly.  I have normal skin on my face, not too sensitive, not too oily or dry.  So, if you want nice soft, clean skin…try these.  Hopefully the routine will work for you:

Goat’s Milk Soap.  My mister and I started using Goat’s Milk Soap when we went to a goat farm in PEI on our honeymoon.  We loved the soap.  Now, we don’t pay shipping from Canada, but we try to get local goat’s milk soap wherever we live.  My mister uses this too and we use it on our boys’ ultra sensitive faces.  You can usually find local ones at fairs or farmer’s markets in your area or at places like Sprouts, TJ, Whole Foods, or Fresh Market.

Witch Hazel.  I use this as a toner for my skin.  I’m not a huge rose (the smell of it) fan, but this scent is very light.  And do the research, Witch Hazel has lots of other uses as well.

ReBuildU Vitamin C serum.  I have a sweet friend in my life.  This is hers.  She has been my makeup guru and told me about this when she first launched it. And you can get it 30% off if you use this particular link (at least through the end of June, which is tomorrow.

Coconut Oil.  I don’t use very much of it and I use it at night.  Its already in liquid form in a pump so it is super easy!  And I don’t have to remember to bring some from the kitchen.  I just use a little and rub it all in my face and neck until it doesn’t feel oily anymore.  (The link above isn’t the exact brand I use, but I use fractionated coconut oil – pure oil).

The above I do every night.  I wash with goats milk soap in the morning.

Now, here is what I want to find.

Eye cream

Day skin cream (that would be good for wrinkles and pores and aging skin)

And powder foundation

All the above I would love to find OTC or available on Amazon that doesn’t cost more than 20$.

A Very Happy Easter Prayer

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Ad.

Easter is right around the corner . We’ll be starting out vacation the day of Easter, so we’ll be doing things a bit different this year.  But…the reason is still the same for our celebration!

Jesus is Alive!

And a book to celebrate that is A Very Happy Easter Prayer.  It is a cute board book for toddlers from Bonnie Jenson and Tommy Nelson Mommies.

And while I like it and its cute illustrations that might be a good practice for me and watercolor…  And it talks about the incarnation.  And the resurrection.  It doesn’t talk about the death of Jesus at all.  And isn’t that the reason that we had an empty tomb in the first place.

We don’t need to shy away from the death of Christ. Our boys know “Jesus died on the cross for my sins.  Jesus is alive!”  Of course they don’t fully understand it, but they still know it.

I hope you guys, in whatever books you read during this spring season, can share with your kids the truth about Jesus’ death and the empty tomb!

Define Success For You

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

I’m a fan of podcasts.  I have subscribed to probably 30-40 podcasts, then glance through them each week to see which ones I’d like to listen to.  Sometimes I don’t get to them that week, but then they are on my phone waiting for me to have some time to listen to.

I typically listen to podcasts in my car while I’m running errands (by myself, its no use listening to them when I have the boys in the car) or at the gym if I don’t bring a book with.

My podcasts are usually in two categories: business or creativity and faith.  If I am having a business day (my two mornings each week when my younger goes to preschool), or if I’m heading to a creative meet-up, then I listen to business-minded podcasts.  If it is really any other time, I’m listening to faith based ones, either on teaching the Bible, being a mom, practicing hospitality, or book reading.

Tonight, I want to share some thoughts from one of my favorite podcast hosts, Sarah Bragg, over on Surviving Sarah. Kristy Dickerson was her guest a few weeks ago and I finally got the chance to listen to it.

One thing she said stuck with me and I’d like to talk about that a bit: “Define success for you.”

Success as defined in the dictionary means: to turn out well, to attain a desired object or end.  That is such a blank canvas.  We can succeed or fail at anything by that definition.  Yet, in the creative industry or the “momprenuer” world, I think most people have certain standards that, if they meet those standards, it will mean they have succeeded.

So, how do we know if we have succeeded?  There has to be something attainable.  Here are some thoughts:

  1.  Define what success would look like for you.  And don’t do this alone.  Maybe you have a brainstorming session over coffee with just yourself.  Then, you can take that list or those doodles and share them with your husband or maybe a creative business partner.  Or share them with a friend.  Now, you don’t have to take everything they say and throw out your list, but wisdom is gaining understanding from wise counselors.  So, share your ideas, really listen to what a few others would say about those ideas, and revamp your list if necessary.  Only if you know what success will look like for you will you ever really know if you succeed.
  2. Understand your season.  One thing I learned early on from one of Sarah’s podcasts is that you are always in a season.  But seasons change.  And everyone is in a season – and everyone’s season will last for a different length of time.  You may be in a season of sickness, or having to work when you don’t want to work, or shuffling kids to baseball practice or ballet.  Maybe you will have to look at each of your seasons and define what success will look like in that particular season.  It always changes.  Right now for example, these three weeks, we are preparing to rent our house for the Masters.  So, I have less time to blog, read, and create because I’m getting our home ready, clean, organized, decluttered, and packing for vacation.  But, its a short season.  Summer will be another season because both of my boys will be home full time so there will be less time to do stuff for me.  But, definitely more time to spend on the deck, with friends, and at the pool.
  3. Don’t compare.  I’ve been in and out of a funk of comparison.  People say I need to charge more for my art…but I don’t think I should because I don’t think its as great as other art I see.  Some people say I should write more, but I think there are so many books at there, who would necessarily want to read what I have to say.  I’ve got to remember, for me, success isn’t necessarily numbers and likes and followers on instagram, but forming and building relationships with those who do follow me.

I hope these few thoughts will encourage you to look at success in a new way.  And, definitely go check out Sarah’s podcasts, especially if you are a mom or mom-prenuer

 

Link Love Sunday

posted in: Uncategorized | 2

Its a rainy Sunday afternoon here in East Georgia.  Perfect for laying in bed while the boys nap.  Reading.  Preparing to teach a Bible study on Tuesday.  Thinking about a charcuterie board and writing session my mister and I will have tonight.

Here are some things that I’m loving right now:

Trader Joes Dark Chocolate Mint Creams (I finished the contained before starting keto this weekend)

This coffee table (I’m saving up) And stay tuned for some more from Cathy and Rob.

Classes at my gym (specifically body pump and spin)

IG videos on how to watercolor – cheaper than any class I could take

My local library: I can pick out a ton of books then bring them home to see if I want to read them.  Much cheaper that way.

White Collar.  I’m starting my third round of the series.  Love it.

Broadchurch.  We are on season 3.

Bull.  If you think Michael Weatherly is fabulous in NCIS, he is even better (and the writing is amazing) in this show on CBS.

 

 

Sunday Funday

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Hey yall.

So, I’m home from church this morning because I woke up with a killer sore throat and ear ache (probably tonsillitis again like I had in December).  I took a low-dose oxycodone because I didn’t want to walk downstairs and get tylenol.  And with little sleep and on meds, I locked myself out of my house.  Had to wait for the mister to be done with playing for the service to tell me where our spare key was.  Now, I’m fading, but thought I’d have some fun.  If this post makes no sense, you’ll know why.

Just thought I’d share some things I’m loving right now!

This book.  It has be a good primer for me in drawing flowers.

These little cute things.  They will go over my desk when we get a curtain rod, so right now they are in our dining room. I got them from a local nursery.

Friends who know more than I do about DIY projects.

These chocolate chip cookies.  They are perfection.  I like them with dark chocolate to cut the sweetness just a little.

Dreaming of summer and day trips to visit friends.

This book.  I just finished it.  A must read.

What have you been loving?  Please share!

Looking back at 2017

posted in: Uncategorized | 1

I’ve not always enjoyed having a birthday that was so close to Christmas.  Hint: most of the time we were out of school for my birthday which usually would be great, but that’s how I saw people and got anything for my birthday (other than from family), so if you were out of school most people forgot about it.

But, now I thoroughly enjoy it because it prolongs that year just a bit for me.  Most of my new year’s resolutions don’t start until after my birthday because you know, you want to eat cake! 🙂

So, 2017 wasn’t really a great year for lots of people, and it wasn’t a stellar year for me though it had highlights.

Let me first tell you about the highlights:

  1.  We bought a home.  We moved to the Augusta, GA area and were able to buy a home.  We had owned a home before but not since living in ATL, and now we can get settled.  I like being settled (as long as I get to travel).
  2. I was asked to do many cool lettering projects including a styled shoot which was published twice (here and here) and to letter t-shirts for a concert tour/album release.
  3. I surpassed my reading goal.

Ok, but really, 40 was not my favorite year.

I had to start again, again.  Building community at 40 is hard.  And ATL was hard enough as it was.  When you are 10-20 years older than most of the people in your same creative field, its difficult to feel like you fit in.  Social media doesn’t always help, but it also has been good to build community.

Fear was the word that permeated 40/2017.  Insecurity in my health (colitis flare ups, autoimmune diagnosis, weight gain).  Insecurity in my relationship with Christ.  Fear of failure as a wife and a mom.  Fear of how my boys will turn out.  Fear of not being liked.  Not in a 13 sorta of way, but in a 40 sort of way.  Fear of never being good enough to measure up to anything.  Fear of always being mediocre at everything I do.  Never excelling at anything.  Fear of loss: both my grandfather and my mom have been in the hospital and just sick in the last few months.

So, when people ask me what I want for 2018 and 41: just please be better than last year.

For 2018: Peace is my word of the year.  I want peace in my relationship with Christ.  I want peace in not-striving.  I want peace in our home.  I want peace in my body.

My verse for this year you will find above:

Since God created the world and everything in it is upheld by his words and his power – there should be no chaos in it – only peace.

Isaiah 45:18

A Few of My Favorite Things for Creatives

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

I’m definitely a creative person – in lots of areas.  So, just in time for Christmas, I wanted to share some things on my list for these different areas of creativity!  Enjoy, and I’d love to hear what’s on your list!

In the Kitchen:

These spoons – so amazing. I have one of his bowls which I love.  Great for food photography

Anything LeCreuset pans – especially in this color!

These cutting boards.  I have two of them – beautiful and all hand formed.

For the letterer:

This book on teaching the hand-drawing of florals.

These pens.  Love them.

For the stationery lover:

This illustrator is new to me, but I’ve loved what I’ve seen so far.  Getting my first order in the mail soon

If you need business cards, social media cards, gift tags, etc, these are fabulous

For the photographer:

Food Photo: these cake plates and aprons, oh and everything on their site

For the branding photographer: These backdrops.  Totally want a few for my photography

For the writer:

This journal – I love these for so many reasons, but I love this pattern.

A gift card is wonderful – especially to this place – where you can find books on writing and journals to write in.

 

Sacred Ordinary Days

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

My story with church began before I was born.  Yup, I’m one of those.  Lifers.

I went to the same church until high school.  Then I went to another church for those years.

Then in college I went to one church all 4 years and stayed to work on staff even after I graduated before I went to seminary.

Once I got to seminary though things kinda were more irregular.  I went to a few churches in seminary, then went to one church after seminary.  Then in Louisville I went to a few, then came to work on one in Raleigh.  Then I got married.  And we’ve been to 4 different churches since being married.

One thing that being a part of so many churches has taught me is that the church is so much bigger than just the congregation I’m a part of.  Yes, I totally think the local church is important.

But, I also think the Church as a whole is important.

And that’s what drew me to Sacred Ordinary Days.  Their planners are based on the liturgical calendar.  It is basically the calendar that the church goes by: like Lent, Advent, Good Friday, Pentecost, etc.

Each day there is a reading of Scripture (and isn’t it neat to know that so many other Christians might be reading that same Scripture on the same day)!  Then you have space to put just a few things – which might help you narrow down your to-do list.  I mean, I know mine can get really long!  And then it has space for you to do what you need to do.  Letter the verse (which mine usually is), write out a prayer, jot down gratitude.

And some technical things: I love the mint green color, (and the one I have is on sale now at a great price). I love the size of it because there is plenty of room to write, and I am very thankful that Sacred Ordinary Days sent me one so I could share it with yall.

How am I going to use my planner in 2018?  I’m going to use it with my Power Sheets and my own Bullet Journal.  I love the readings so I’ll be concentrating on those.

And they also have a book journal for all your readers out there!

Coffee With: Asheritah CiuCiu

posted in: Books, Coffee with..., Uncategorized | 0

Advent starts this weekend.  And one of the books out there for you to read, by yourself or with your family, is Unwrapping the Names of Jesus.  And today, I get to share with you some fun thoughts from the author, Asheritah.  Asheritah and I wrote for the same blog a few years ago and her writing has been a continual source of encouragement for me.

I hope you enjoy the interview.

  1. So what some people might want some help with is how to pronounce your name.  And can you give us a little bit of your background: like your family, what you do, etc?

Sure! My name looks intimidating at first, but it’s easier than it looks. Asheritah, my first name, is pronounced like “margarita” and my last name, Ciuciu, is pronounced choo-choo like the train. It sounds like a silly way to explain pronunciation, but my name has deep significance. My father made it as a compound name, based on Asher, to mean “God is my happiness.” And that’s been the guiding light of my life ever since, and it’s the foundation of One Thing Alone Ministries as well, as we strive to help women find joy in Jesus.

 

I grew up in Romania as a missionary kid and met my husband in sixth grade summer camp. It took eleven years for us to eventually marry, but I’m so blessed to have him as my husband. We have two spunky little girls and currently live in Northeast Ohio.

 

  1. With all the Christmas books out there – why this one? Why now?  What compelled you to write an Advent book?

Believe it or not, I didn’t really enjoy Christmas growing up. Even into young adulthood, the Christmas season brought more anxiety than anticipation, and when I was expecting my first daughter, a mentor of mine encouraged me to begin new traditions for my own family. As I began praying, asking the Lord to help me rediscover the meaning and joy of Christmas, He pointed me to the names of Jesus.

 

If we really believe that Jesus is the greatest gift of all, wouldn’t it make sense that we would want to learn more about Him? What does it mean that He is the Lion of Judah? The Lord of Lords? The Alpha and Omega? Each name is a promise, a unique identity that reveals a facet of His character, and when we unwrap them one at a time, we discover the beauty of Jesus, Son of God, made man for us.

 

My desire with Unwrapping the Names of Jesus is to help readers rediscover the joy of Christmas by growing deeper in their knowledge and love of Jesus, learning to worship Him with all their hearts, so that when Christmas morning rolls around, we’ll all join in to sing, “O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”

 

  1. Can you share a special holiday memory that you have?

One of my favorite Christmas gifts was a box of English books my dad managed to secure for me in Romania. English books were so hard to find, and he hid a treasure trove under my bed one year, and instructed me to take out only one at a time. Oh, the anticipation of each new book made me both excited to read the next book and also slow down to relish each book I held in my hands. In a way, this special gift inspired the format of Unwrapping the Names of Jesus, as I want readers to have that same experience: excited to read the next day’s name, but also slowing down to relish the beauty of who Jesus is today.

 

  1. You graduated Cedarville.  What was the best part about being at a Christian university?

So much goodness! Cedarville was where I learned to think for myself, to hold up my own beliefs to inspection and really own my faith. But it also taught me the importance of defending my faith with gentleness and respect, something I struggled with as a teenager. I loved having a safe place to wrestle with the difficult parts of my Christian faith, and I still look back with fondness at many of the late nights spent debating transubstantiation, amillenialism, and arminianism, debates I don’t touch much today, but conversations that laid a foundation for my desire to help women dig deeper into the truth found only in Jesus.

 

  1. Being a mom to spunky children, do you ever wonder how you do it?  What about parenting and being in ministry (outside the home)?

Oh, this is a challenge, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder or climbing the lego-strewn stairs, there’s always more tugs on your time and body than there is energy to do it all. I think it’s important to enlist the help of others, especially those whose strengths fill in the gaps of your weaknesses.

 

I’m blessed to be surrounded by a community that supports me in life and ministry. From my husband (who is my biggest champion and a huge support in the technical part of running our ministry), to my mom and mother-in-law (who take turns babysitting our girls), to my team of assistants around the world (from South Africa to San Diego and everywhere in between), to the countless women who respond to my SOS prayer texts before I jump on a radio interview or when I’m facing a book deadline, I am blessed with so much help. Seriously, I couldn’t do this all by myself, nor would I want to even try.

 

  1. Out of all the names of Jesus that you unwrap in your advent book, which has been the dearest to you?

This is the hardest question of all, because I don’t really have a favorite. Instead, I’ve found that different names take on new meaning in different situations in life. Just today, I got an email with some bad news, and for a few moments I panicked. But then the Spirit reminded me that Jesus is the Lord of Lords, and that means He’s in control of this situation too. His Names are either true all the time or they’re not true at any time, and it’s moments like those that require us to live out what we say we believe. (BTW, everything turned out ok in the end, because Jesus really can handle our crises, can’t He?)

 

  1. This blog series is called Coffee With…so if we were sitting down having coffee somewhere, where would we be and what would you get?

Easy. We’d be sitting at the copper-topped tables at Artisan Coffee Shop, where you can find me most weeks working on some new project. And I’d probably be sipping on a Dark Chocolate Orangeman, which is part of the secret menu, but if you wanted to try one, I’d order it for you too. 🙂

Giving Tuesday: Advent Download

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

As a Mom one of the character traits I want to instill in my boys is generosity.  That means: toys, TV time, food, special treats, clothes, etc.  In their little world, sharing the Paw Patrol fruit snacks is hard.  But, God calls us to a life of generosity.

So, today, being Giving Tuesday, I want to help you help me give.  I handlettered a Names of Jesus Advent print.  It has 20 names of Jesus taken from a new book, Unwrapping the Names of Jesus.  It is in gold and black.  It will help you focus on the true meaning of this holiday season.

And 50% of the proceeds of this print will go to a missionary family that serves with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Thank you for helping me give,