10 Random Things About Me

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10 random things about me

It’s my birthday today!  So, in lieu of turning 32 (Can you tell I’m having fun rhyming with my age?), I thought I’d share some random little tidbits about myself that you may or may not know.

These are some of my favorite posts to read.  Everyone you meet is so unique and has experienced things you’d never imagine.  One of the craziest ones I ever heard was when I was in college.  A girl in my department who was petite and fairly soft spoken used to race cars!  What?!  I love that kind of stuff.  Sometimes it’s little things, like being born in another country or having six toes (ok that’s pretty weird) or it can be big stuff, like car racing.

1. I was a contortionist.

10 Random Things about me

Yep, I was one of those freaky bent over backwards kids you can see in Cirque Du Soliel.  Somewhere there’s a picture of me doing a backbend on a fairly small cube.  I remember nights spent at home trying to get over my fear off falling off that thing!  Now, I definitely never got to the professional level by any means, but when I was 10, my dance teacher came up with this crazy (at the time) idea and we took the competitions by surprise.  I’m still pretty flexible at 32 and after 2 pregnancies but I won’t be auditioning for Cirque anytime soon. I still have my splits though!

2. I once dyed my hair black.

This is up there with one of my worst decisions ever in my life.  It was from a box, it faded in patches, and the rest just looked chalky after the first day.  Bad decision….just bad.

3. I was born pigeon toed.

True Story!  I wore a brace and corrective shoes as a kid, both of which my mom still has somewhere.  It’s also the reason I began taking dance.  The doctor suggested it to my mom as a way to reshape my malleable, growing bones.  One of the main focuses of ballet is your turn out and that is the exact opposite of what my feet did.  My shins are technically still somewhat crooked, but you can only tell when my feet are completely relaxed.  Also, my left foot is still pretty stubborn about turning in when I walk.

4. I’ve never been stung by anything.

Nothing.  Ever.  I’ve been bitten by fire ants but I don’t count those.  So, I’m totally that person when a bee comes flying around.  The one flapping and running.

5. My husband and I had our honeymoon in Disney World.10 Random Things about me

 

 

This was the best honeymoon ever!  Now, I’ve only been on one, but I think it was the best.  We stayed at the Animal Kingdom resort (hello, giraffes out my window!), we got congratulated everywhere we went because we insisted on wearing our fabulous hats, and we got to be the grand marshals in the Magic Kingdom parade.  It was magical.

6. I will not eat blue cheese.

*barfs*

7.  I’ve never seen any Star Wars movies.

I was not brought up on them, my parents aren’t really into them, and then I never had the desire to watch them.  I think space is cool and I’m down with the sci-fi-fi scene, but there’s one thing that really keeps me from sitting down and marathoning it.  I’m not really that big of a movie person.  I would rather read a book or paint something.  It’s a commitment for me to watch a movie and those things are looooong.

8. I once sold health insurance.

Worst.  Job.  Ever.  Maybe not for some but , for me, this job was literally torture.  I don’t enjoy selling things.  Not like I do know, but direct sales.  I can’t do it.  I can, indeed, take no for an answer which makes me terrible at it.

10 Random Things about me

9.  I learned how to ride a bike when I was 12 (but like closer to 13).

I know, I know.  I was closer to driving a car than I should’ve been but I never really cooperated as a child with my parents when it came to this.  So one day, at the wise old age of twelve, I walked down to my friends’ house and told them I was ready to learn and that I wanted to learn now.  I didn’t even own a bike!  They taught me in one evening and it’s a good thing I learned because the skill came in handy when I went to the College of Charleston.

10. I played viola for 6 years.

From 6th grade through 11th grade, I played the viola.  I have no good reason why I chose the viola, I originally wanted to play the cello.  I did pretty well, was first and second chair throughout most of my playing days, but now I’d be lucky if I could squeak out “Ode To Joy”.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know just a little bit more about me!  What’s something random you’d put on your list?

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Peanut Butter “Ice Cream” (Daniel Fast/Whole 30 Approved Gluten + Dairy Free)

In Easy Eats

Daniel Fast/Whole 30/Gluten Free "Ice Cream"

Have you tried the faux ice cream (AKA nice cream) that’s made with bananas?  It’s now my new favorite thing.  I’ll be honest, if you don’t like bananas, you should pretty much skip these recipes.  However, if that’s not you, these are DELICIOUS.  I whipped up the simplest one ever the other day and it’s so good that even my kids like it.  I can’t really think of a diet that this wouldn’t fit the guidelines of so feel free to indulge.

I have a pretty big sweet tooth which makes doing a Daniel fast pretty difficult at times.  Whole 30 is much the same just with meat.  One night while on the Daniel fast (I did a 7 day one at the start of the new year.),  I was craving something sweet pretty bad. Usually I can satisfy the sweet tooth with an apple and all natural peanut butter.  This particular night, all I wanted was ice cream.  I decided I needed to figure out something that would suffice and here’s what I came up with.

Daniel Fast/Whole 30/Gluten Free "Ice Cream"

It’s three ingredients.  That’s it! Here’s what you need for a single serving.

Ingredients: 1 Frozen Banana, 1 Tbsp Date Honey, 1 Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter

What’s date honey you ask?  You can check my post about Daniel fast recipes HERE to find it.  But to simplify it for you here, it’s boiled down dates, water, and cinnamon.  (It’s the dark brown stuff in picture above.) Sounds kind of unappealing put like that but it’s great for adding sweetness to oatmeal, smoothies, etc.

Daniel Fast/Whole 30/Gluten Free "Ice Cream"

A note about natural peanut butter:  Make sure that it has only peanuts and salt in the ingredient list.  If you don’t check, you’d be surprised how many products are labeled “natural” and still have added sugar.

Daniel Fast/Whole 30/Gluten Free "Ice Cream" Daniel Fast/Whole 30/Gluten Free "Ice Cream"

All you need to do is blend everything together in a food processor (I’m loving my mini Kitchenaid I got for Christmas!) and put it in a container back in the freezer for at least an hour.

Daniel Fast/Whole 30/Gluten Free "Ice Cream" Peanut Butter "Ice Cream"

Top it off with some nuts, unsweetened coconut , and/or some extra nut butter drizzle.  Now that I’m not on a fast or diet of any kind, I want to try it with some cocoa powder or at least top it off with some chocolate chips.  Because, you know, chocolate!  If you want to make more, it’s just a basic 1 to 1 to 1 ratio. (ie: A batch for three people would be 3 bananas, 3 Tbsp date honey, and 3 Tbsp nut butter.)

Daniel Fast/Whole 30/Gluten Free "Ice Cream" Daniel Fast/Whole 30/Gluten Free "Ice Cream"

What are some of you favorite healthier versions of desserts?

 

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Doing Better For My Skin // Part 2

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doing better for my skin // beauty counter review
*Thank you to Rebecca Lee, Beauty Counter consultant, for providing the product this post.  The following is my 100% my honest opinion.

In my last post I tackled the preventative/corrective measure that I’m taking to keep my skin looking it’s best. But there is an even more important part of doing better for my skin that I’m trying move towards. Less chemicals. Honestly I’m trying to do this in as many areas of my life as I can but what never occurred to me was something I’ve always used, makeup.

Makeup is full of junk that our skin, our largest organ, is constantly absorbing. Let that SINK IN. (See what I did there?!) It’s really crazy when you sit down to think about it. If you were to turn over a number of makeup bottles on the drugstore shelf, you’d find a list of ingredients you’d never want on your skin in the first place and most you probably can’t pronounce. This is where I introduce you to my friend, Rebecca.Continue reading

Doing Better For My Skin // Part 1

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*Thank you to VIIcode for sponsoring this post.  The following is my 100% my honest opinion.

One of my smaller goals for this year is to do exactly what the title says, doing better for my skin.  Why a smaller goal you may ask?  Because, a lot of the time, doing better means getting better quality products which means dollar amounts higher than I’m used to.  I want to do all the things that are better for my skin, especially now that I’m in my thirties (technically the beauty world says you should be using wrinkle cream in your 20s but whatever), but my budget just doesn’t allow me to completely overhaul my beauty routine with top of the line products.  So, for now, I’m doing two things and today I’m sharing with you number one.Continue reading

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Welcoming the New Year

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It’s 2018!  Here’s to a good few months of everyone totally forgetting to write 8 instead of 7 when they have to write the date.  Happens to me every year.

I’m sure I’m not the only person out there that loves the newness of January first.  It’s like you get a reset button on just about everything.  Also, this particular day is a new year, month, and week all rolled into one which makes me and my fellow OCDers super stoked.  I’m so excited about this new year and, just like most people, I have a good amount of goals I’d like to achieve.  I’ve looked at the different “categories” of my life and set my goals according to what I feel like I’ve lacked this past year (which is why one of my focus words is patience), what I’d like to accomplish moving forward, and so on.  There’s something both freeing and anxiety inducing about sharing your goals publicly.  It’s that big A word….accountability.  But it’s a good thing and I want it, so here goes:

Personal

  • read 20 books
  • make (and stick to) a cleaning schedule
  • eat more veggies
  • drink more water
  • learn to use my sewing machine
  • practice patience

Family

  • more outside time
  • more hands on time

Professional

  • more blog posts
  • start to write a book (something on my life goal list)
  • actually read all those Pinterest posts about blog tips and implement them
  • ditto for photography
  • devote more time to promoting the shop

Spiritual

  • focus on prayer
  • daily quiet time in the Word

I’m sure there are a ton more tiny goals I have that will pop up as the year goes on but what these broad goals boil down to is more intentional time.  I have to find a balance, as we all do, between all of the things that need my attention.  I plan to really make some strides in bettering my daily quality of life.  Striving for less stress here!  And I think this is a very achievable goal.  This brings me to my focus words for the year, prayer and patience.

A few days before the new year I prayed about what God wanted me to focus on for 2018.   I prayed that God would lead me to a verse that would speak truth into my life and help me be a better wife, mother, and all around better person.  I started thinking about the words prayer and patience.  Let’s be real, as a mother, my daily (hourly, minutely, secondly) prayer is for patience.  But I think that God wants me to focus on long term patience as well.  To be patient and joyful in the waiting periods of my life.  So, I looked up verses that had to do with both of those things and was led to Romans 12:12.  “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

And that’s where I am on this first day of 2018.  I plan to live day by day while still planning and looking to the future (Seems counter productive doesn’t it?  But it makes sense to me!).  Happy new year and may God bless you and yours!

What are some goals you’re setting for yourself this year?

 

 

 

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Tis The Season For Traditions

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Hey strangers!  this holiday season has been pretty hectic for me but all in a good way.  I’ve been doing shows for the first time with my shop and I’ve been busier than ever with orders, which is amazing but stressful.  So, if you’ve wondered where in the world I’ve been, that’s it.  I’ve been elbow deep in snowman ornaments, house drawings, and canvases.  My hope for the new year is to continue the momentum as well as keep a balance here.  More on that in my coming new year post!  On to the holiday goodness!

I love traditions, especially ones that involve food.  My mom started this gingerbread house one three years ago and each year I think we get a little better.  I think… While its super fun each year, I’m looking forward to when little Ro can join in which will more than likely be next year.  We just weren’t ready to let the two year old (who seriously needed a nap) loose on the candy and icing.  So, without further ado, here are some pictures of our third attempt at gingerbread house engineering.

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Fingerprint Wreath Ornaments

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DIY Fingerprint Ornament

I absolutely love using things my kids have made as decor of the holidays. All the little handprints, foot prints, and crazy painted items have a very special place in our home. If you ask my family though, I tend to have a slight obsession with ornaments. I love putting up the tree and breaking out all the fun ornaments from places we’ve been and the family ones showing how much we’ve grown. This year I decided to make something special for both my boys to make for this year’s tree.

What You’ll Need: Round Ceramic Ornament, Round Sticker, Green Paint, Modge Podge (or other sealant), Red Jewels, E6000 (or other strong adhesive), Paint Pen

DIY Fingerprint Ornament

DIY Fingerprint OrnamentPlace a round sticker (I just created one with some wash tape and parchment paper) on the center of the ornament. Now your kids can go to town putting little green finger prints all over the empty space. Make sure that they stick with just small finger prints rather than spreading it all together.

Let the paint dry then seal it with Modge Podge. Once the sealant is dry you can place your gems around the wreath like holly berries. Using a tooth pick helps keep your fingers from getting too sticky and makes placement easier.

Write a favorite seasonal word (and of course, name and year on the back) in the center and you’re ready to decorate your tree!

Looking forward to finding a special place on the tree for these two!

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Favorite Recipes For the Daniel Fast

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Favorite Daniel Fast Recipes

Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash

Last week I shared about what the Daniel fast is and why I’m doing it. If you’d like to catch up on that, you can check it out HERE. One of my biggest challenges has been just figuring out what to eat.

I’m not a picky eater by any stretch of the imagination so I’m game to eat any and all vegetables but I just don’t know what to do with them. My knowledge is basically salad and microwave steamable packages. Also, since this fast has specific food guidelines, I’m not accustom to using replacement ingredients such as tofu, dates, etc. Having a book, The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast, has been a huge help.

I tried salads at first but the dressing that I made didn’t really do much for me. I tried making things I used to eat but that were compliant with the food list and they were, well, they were terrible. So here are my list of favorite foods that actually taste great and I have on a regular bases.

Smoothies – Smoothies are life savers. With two small kids, these are quick, easy, and even they will drink one. I can pack a ton of spinach in them and not even taste it with the fruit. Adding in a nut based milk add great protein and calories. (Click on “Smoothies” to find a ton of great ideas!)

Snickerdoodle Smoothie – This is a recipe from The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast. I was skeptical at first but it said snickerdoodle so I had to try it. It’s flippin’ amazing!
The ingredient list is almond milk, silken tofu, date honey, frozen banana, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Date Honey – This is also from the same book as the snickerdoodle smoothie and is included in that recipe. What’s great about it is that it has two ingredients. Dates and cinnamon. It’s a bit time consuming to make but not labor intensive.

Oatmeal Bowl – These are great for days when you may have to go a little longer in between meals. A 1/2 cup if oats and 1 cup of water (try using almond milk for a creamier texture) in the microwave for 2 minutes (give or take depending on your microwave wattage) makes an easy and filling base for tons of toppings. I usually use the date honey to sweeten it, a scoop of natural peanut butter for protein, an extra dash of cinnamon, and some fruit on top.

Easy to Pack Snacks – Sometimes you just need a munch on something and that can be hard to do when just about every option out there has added sugar.  (This fast has seriously made question what the heck is going on in the food industry!)  Your best bet to be successful is to be prepared.  Prepackaged nuts are great and full of protein.  We bought a huge box from Costco and all that is in them are the dry roasted nuts and sea salt.

Another great snack I love are That’s It bars.  I first came across these at a Starbucks but now they are sold in more stores.  All they are is fruit…That’s It! (Get it?!)  They taste great and can help satisfy a sweet craving in a pinch.

Do you have some favorite plant-based recipes?  I’d love to try them!

(4 days to go!)

The Daniel Fast // Week 1 Reflection

In Mommyhood

Photo by David Vázquez on Unsplash

So last week I started my very first Daniel fast.  What’s a Daniel fast?  To make a long story short, it’s a spiritual fast that requires you to lean more into prayer and into your relationship with God through self discipline.  I can’t have meat, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and sweeteners.  I like to think of it as a vegan whole 30.  Want the long story?  Click HERE for a more in-depth explanation and more if you’re interested in doing one yourself.

Why am I doing it?

Typically, someone starts a Daniel fast when a big decision needs to be prayed about, there is something specific you need to pray through, etc.  For me, I read about fasting for your children in my book for small group and knew that was something I needed to do.  Gav made a big change on Monday (which is why I started when I did) when he transferred to his new elementary school.

This past year has been a weird one for Gav and me and I knew that it was going to take some hard prayer to cut through this season.

What was the week like?

Let’s just say that I picked a doozy of a week to start a fast.  This first week was packed with stress, temptation, and plenty of opportunities to just say “forget it”!  On Monday, one of the parents at the dance studio brought in these absolutely delicious pumpkin loafs with brown butter icing in these perfect little ceramic loaf pans.  There was one that I could have taken home.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  My inner basic chick was screaming but I left it.

Tuesday was met with a family emergency complete with an unexpected surgery.  Running around, helping, making phone calls, and carrying a 30 pound toddler on my back while doing it was actually a great distraction from the fact that all I wanted to do was pull into a drive thru and grab some edible feelings.  Tuesday was also Halloween.  Don’t worry, I have a stash for when my 21 days is up.

Wednesday through Friday weren’t that bad and the book I ordered (same as the Daniel fast resource I linked above) came in and I was excited to explore new recipes.

Saturday was our church’s first women’s prayer gathering which was nothing short of amazing.  However, it was at 7 AM, I woke up at 5:30, and some caffeine would have been nice.

By the time Sunday came around, I was feeling a bit more confident and ready for the next week.  I have a few more choices now that I have new recipes and I’m getting pretty creative.

Let’s get real…What’s it like without coffee?

I won’t lie to you.  I got to day 3 and legitimately would have done anything for a cup of coffee.  And as much coffee as I drink for my size, it’s safe to say that my body probably craves it.  Luckily I already take medicine on and off for headaches so I just went ahead and preempted any withdrawal I might have.  I was also just plain tired.  Not quite that first trimester of pregnancy tired (mamas, you know what I’m talking about!)  but still just trying to scrape whatever I could from my energy reserves.  The tiredness did subside a bit but I still really love my coffee.

What have I noticed?

I’ve definitely started to redirect myself to prayer when I start thinking about food and the restrictiveness.  Oddly enough, I’ve become calmer, less quick to anger.  I feel better and I’m less bloated (maybe TMI but it’s true).

Most importantly, I’ve seen a change in my relationship with Gav.  Already there’s been more patience, there’s more attachment and closeness.  I know that Ro becoming a VERY active toddler means that Gavin has received less attention.  He has been told more times that I can count that he’s the big brother and he has to set the example, or that Ro is just two he doesn’t understand, or I’m simply just attending to more of Ro’s needs because he can’t do as much for himself yet.  I understand that Gavin may be feeling less and that is so not what I want for my sweet boy.  I’ve made it a point to tell him that he was wonderfully made by God and that he is special because of that.  We are reconnecting and it’s made my mama heart so happy.

Have you ever done a fast?  What did you learn?

 

 

 

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5 Things I Learned From My First Craft Show

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5 things I learned from my first craft show

Last month I did my very first show as a vendor.  Let’s just get real for a second, I was STRESSED OUT.  I had no idea what to expect and, well, I’d never done one!  However, once I had the products I wanted to complete done and all my branding was ready, I felt much better.  Going into a first time experience is always nerve racking so here are a few tips I learned that I hope can help if you’re headed into your first show.

5 things I learned from my first craft show5 things I learned from my first craft show

1. Know your space.

Find out what is available to you.  Does your booth come with tables? (more than likely not)  Are there tables available to rent?  Do you need an electric outlet?  These are usually few and far between so be sure you place a request as soon as possible.

Another thing to consider is if you will be up against a wall.  If not, having a backdrop is a good way to section yourself off and give more of a shop look.  My dad made mine from PVC pipe and it worked great!

Have a layout in mind for how you’d like to set up.  If you leave your set up open, people can walk into your booth.  If you set the table in front, they can see all of your product but there will be a barrier between you and your customers.

5 things I learned from my first craft show 5 things I learned from my first craft show 5 things I learned from my first craft show 5 things I learned from my first craft show

2. Shop your house.

Having extra design elements definitely helps with the appeal of your booth.  However, if you’re like me and most work out of the home artists, you don’t really have the budget for this added expense.  All I did was go from room to room and looked for little things to pretty up my space as well as larger objects to create dimension.  Chances are, you like your own style and it will mesh well with your shop’s aesthetic.

5 things I learned from my first craft show

3. Have an email sign up list.

Whether you have one person or ten people sign it, that’s more people on your list than before!  Any traffic to your site is good traffic and this way they stay up to date with any other shows you’re doing, new products, or just random info you care to share.

I also suggest having an incentive to sign up like a giveaway.  Who doesn’t like the chance to win some free stuff?!

5 things I learned from my first craft show

4. If you do custom work, have examples.

This sounds like a real “duh” piece of advice but I honestly thought that my display with pictures would be enough.  Turns out, not so much.  People need to see something physical.  Most people just breezed right past my custom order display or hadn’t even seen it when I talked to them about custom work.

5. The first and last hour are SLOW.

It is what it is.  People are out doing family stuff on the weekends and you’ll usually get your rushes after that first hour.

5 things I learned from my first craft show

BONUS TIP: Branding is everything.  Be sure you always have your business cards on hand and your social media info visible!

I had a great time at my first show and it was a great learning experience.  Definitely looking forward to my next show in couple weeks!