Homespun

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Partnering with Audra Jennings to bring you a review of Homespun.

I’ve really liked some Amish fiction over the years, probably ever since college when I toured the Indiana Amish country during a friend’s wedding.  Simplicity and faith and order and quiet.  Those were pretty intriguing to a 20 year old.

Homespun is a book filled with hospitality, family, friendship, community, faith, and a host of other topics.  All written by women who are in the Amish or Mennonite communities.  These are not fiction, which I love.

I really felt like I was sitting down with many of these authors and having coffee or swinging on a porch swing in the Autumn air.  Just chatting, hearing their hearts – and much of their heart is the same things that find their root in my heart.

If you love memoir type books or biographical essays – I think you’ll really enjoy this book.

 

Favorite Podcasts August Edition

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My favorite way to spend long drives or time in car running errands is by listening to podcasts.  I thought I would share with you some of my favorites each month.

Surviving Sarah (the one with Heather McFadyen)

5 Questions

Sally Clarkson

Chompers (for the boys to brush their teeth)

Lazy Genius (cleaning and salad ones are my faves lately, oh and the farmers market one)

God Centered Mom the one with Jen Wilkin

What are some of your favorite podcasts – especially specific episodes. Leave me some new ones in the comments!  I’ll be sharing mine more next month!

My Daily Face Routine

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.