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Choose Life-Tips for Wholeness

27 Apr

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“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”

This past weekend I spent some time in the Smoky Mt. National Park. There’s a place me and my family go to where you can grill out along the river. There’s just something about being there that soothes my soul. We ventured out on a small hike up the trail and as the elevation rose the sound of cars eventually were drowned out by bird chirps and other rustling nature sounds. The air is crisp and energizing. It’s in moments like these I feel truly like I can grasp life.

You see, I’m a health knowledge addict. Really not sure how I got on that train but it’s a crazy ride. If you’ve ever dived into the study of healthy eating you’ve experienced the crazy debates of what’s considered right and what’s wrong. There’s so many rules of eat this, don’t eat that, yes it’s a veggie but it’s really a starch and forget about it if it isn’t 100% organic grown in a unpolluted vacuum somewhere on Mars. It gets quite stressful. So, I finally set down and made out a list of easy principles I (and you) can apply to our lives to make them wholesome.

1. Be at Peace with the Lord. Now I don’t know what your religious standpoints are but for this principle to apply to you it’s important to understand that I believe we were all created by God for a purpose. I think one of the most important things we can grasp in the world is that we are here for a reason. God is for you and has a plan for your life. When we doubt ourselves or let fear take over, we ultimately short change ourselves. I’ve been reading a book about how spiritual disobedience can cause not only a spiritual hiccup, but can lead to poor health.

One quote in particular that stood out to me in the book is, “Nutrition is not a substitute for obedience.” That really pricked me, as I noticed I was more concerned with how to eat and live my life then who I was as a person. It’s an interesting statistic (and I get that those can mean nothing sometimes) but I’ve read in many places that close to 80% of all illness has a root cause of fear, stress, or anxiety. That’s crazy! But think about it when you’re always fearing the worse or running 90 to nothing, you’re spiking your body with all sorts of neurochemicals that only belong there in really serious fight or flight type situations. Over time, your body lacks the peace and rest it needs to repair itself and ultimately your immune system takes a beating. That’s why it’s so important to be at peace with the Lord, to know He is FOR YOU and has a plan for your life. Things like unforgiveness, bitterness, and self-hatred HAS TO GO. Remember STRESS is bad.

2. Eat Whole. Now going back to the quote where nutrition is not a substitute for obedience, I do believe that we should be good stewards of our body. If you’re not sure where to begin on an health journey, or the idea of sitting down to a plate of just veggies freaks your meat loving heart–Baby Steps. Start by making tiny changes and keep going. Mess up–KEEP GOING. If you’re looking for good recipe ideas you can follow my pinterest board EAT WELL.

Start by watching food labels. A good rule of thumb is to simply eat less processed foods. I get most of us don’t have the time or energy to make everything from scratch, but I beg of you to start trying to make more from scratch. You’ll find as time advances, the box stuff won’t cut it and your wallet might be happier. (Note: this isn’t always the cheaper route, but it could save you money down the road from having to buy medication) Avoid things that are excessively processed, anything high in sugar that’s not from nature (fruit), and for the love of life please avoid artificial flavors and colors.

3. Eat your veggies. I’m not saying to not eat meat, but I do think it would help folks out to reverse the mentality that meat is your main course and veggies are sides. Sure there’s organic and conventional debates but goodness gracious if you’re eating something naturally green over something dyed green you’re heading in the right direction. One thing that’s helpful when it comes to deciding where to spend the extra money on organic is the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.

4. Drink more water. I know it’s not real tasty, especially if you like coke or coffee but your body sure likes it. Being hydrated is key to staying focused, energized, and satisfied. Sometimes when we’re hungry, we’re really thirsty. And sad fact, coke and coffee actually dehydrate you.

5. Be adventurous and have fun. I think all to often we live in the safe zone. But who remembers those moments? Now I’m not saying to go jump off a cliff in Brazil, but get out of your box every now and then and let loose. I’m not an advocate for Transformers, but I politely humored my friend by watching the first one with them and a scene as always stuck with me. When Megan Fox and Shia Labeouf are about to get into their robot car, she’s like, “um and do what” blah blah blah and the best line in the whole series Shia comes back with, “In 50 years wouldn’t you like to say you got in the car?” Bam. You can watch the scene here cause I’m sure I butchered it.

5. Get some sleep. Remember your body needs rest. In the world we live in that’s a rarity but your body will give out if you don’t stop.

6. Reduce clutter. When everything around us is junked up, so are our minds. It’s a stressor just looking at the disarray around us. I’ll admit this blows my mind, but Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home, says that her family of 4 has created only one handful of trash in six months and aims at zero. WHAT? That’s extreme and remember baby steps here are important, but reducing clutter and trash isn’t just good for the environment or our wallets but getting away from a chemical overdose is good for you. Here are some tips she provides on her blog.

If you’re made it this far down, I appreciate your patience as I know this was a lengthy post but I hope that these are some tips you can apply for living well and wholeness. One of my favorite blogs and video series to follow is Christa Orecchio, founder of the Whole Journey.  Also, I’m working on a logo for a series that my friend Anna Wight is heading up. She’s hosting a seminar in July for any of you who are local to Alabama.

And finally, if you like the image above you may purchase it on my Society 6 page (Free shipping thru this weekend). It comes in a few different sizes and I think the pillows are pretty rad. Society 6 does make a bulk of the profit off these but any profit that I do make will be donated to Convoy of Hope. There are two background options, trees (shown above) and the grand canyon. If you have an idea for a solid background or anything, hit me up.

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Southern Bridal Faire Sketches

9 Apr

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I always love looking back at initial logo concept sketches. It’s fun to see where something started and how it ended up. Sometimes, it also helps me launch off with a new project. I stumbled across these today while looking for some artwork that I made, but didn’t use. Waste not my friends.

Convoy of Hope

19 Mar

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I’ve always been a fan of Convoy of Hope. What’s that you ask? Here is a little insert from their site.

Since Convoy of Hope, a 501(c)3 faith-based nonprofit, was founded in 1994 we have served more than 55 MILLION people throughout the world through international children’s feeding initiatives, community outreaches, disaster response and partner resourcing. At Convoy of Hope our goals are to provide help and hope to people in need in the United States and around world through our children’s feeding initiatives, community outreaches, disaster response and partner resourcing.

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I admire the outreach that Convoy of Hope provides, not only to improvished places across the globe, but to our own backyard. Convoy of Hope responds with fresh food and water during times of natural disaster (like Hurricane Katrina and Sandy). And the gospel is always preached.

Convoy of Hope is considered a “first responder” organization in disaster relief. With a fleet of tractor-trailers, a 300,000-square-foot warehouse, a high-tech Mobile Command Center and through a scalable distribution model we have been heralded for quickly providing resources and help to victims of disasters worldwide.
We rely heavily on the faith-based community, businesses and national and state disaster relief agencies and organizations. Because of strong alliances, we were one of the first humanitarian aid groups to distribute food in Haiti after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the country on January 12, 2010.

They also work with countries like Haiti to teach skills and nutrition to families in need. It struck me how many families are in need not just of food, but for healthy food. I’ve tossed around the idea for the past few weeks, but after coming to this realization I’ve decided to go full force. You see I’m a chocolate addict. I also adore a vanilla coke like non-other and well I don’t drink sweet tea much but whenever I go out, it’s usually the drink of choice. This past Saturday I had a cup of super sweet tea and I FELT HORRIBLE afterwards. It dawned on me that I should probably give that up when I go out and just make it at home where I can control the sugar level. But it’s hard to push past our temptations. UNLESS, we have a cause. I have a cause now.

I’m going to give up purchasing items that are UNHEALTHY for me so that I can donate on a regular basis so families across the globe can have a chance to eat better. If I pass by the heavy processed chocolate in the store (have you read those labels? They put artificial flavoring in them. Chocolate should be left pure folks), the cokes and sweet teas when I dine out, I can probably afford to donate between $10-20 dollars a month.

2 Corinthians 8:13-15 (NIV)

13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”

Paul is saying here that we should strive to be equal. If you’re blessed, then bless others. You never know when you’ll find yourself on the other side of the line. My goal is to give up some temptations so that others can have what they need. Plus, in doing so, I’ll be making myself healthier. Sure it’ll be hard cause I adore those things but I think I’ll find far better rewards in letting them go.

If you would like to donate to Convoy of Hope you can do so here and check out their organization.

Design Inspiration: Stitch Design Co.

8 Feb

The weather here is dreary, cold, and gray. I’m dreaming of spring right now. Fresh hues, warmer tones, and all around good feelings. I’ve spent the afternoon searching for some inspiration.

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I came across Stitch Design Co.‘s profile on Dribble. I’ve always been a huge fan of Stitch Design. Their designs are classic, full of lovely typographic, hand drawn elements, and color palettes that ooze good feelings. Here is my touch of spring today.

FlySoloDesign//The 5 Principles of Greatness

7 Dec

I came across a wonderful website this week called Fly Solo Design. Created by Patrick Moore as part of his MFA thesis, Fly Solo is a resource to help designers through the design process and developmental process. It’s really beautifully done, you should check it out. As I was weaving through I came across this article. I  think we all desire to evolve into a better person. Unfortunately that process often takes change (cringe…yes I know) and painful examination of who we are. That’s by no mean any excuse though to quit striving. The Change Your Pattern segment really stood out to me.

The 5 Principles Of Greatness

By Greg Jackson for Men’sHealth

MOTIVATION TO BETTER YOURSELF.

“You have to care to be a better man. That’s what makes a winner,” says Jackson. “You have to wake up and say, ‘I have a fire in me to be better than I am right now.’ That’s your base.”

DRIVE TO LEARN.

“Once you’re inspired, you’ve got to learn. You need to learn everything, be hungry for everything, be curious about everything. Curiosity is what kills fear. Methodology is what makes good great,” says Jackson. “By methodology, I mean ‘ubiquitous principles’ – things that are true across the spectrum, regardless of what art you practice. What Bach does structurally in music, we do structurally in combat. There is rhythm and rest, beats and reversals. It’s all in Warrior, all that Beethoven stuff. If you want to fight like no one else, then fight like Beethoven wrote a symphony. If you want to be a better man, then don’t be like other men.”

CHANGE YOUR PATTERN.

“Human beings have a craving for pattern. That’s what causality is: the only reason we think things are going to happen is because they’ve happened before. Look at the sunrise or the sunset, for example,” he says. “You can do the same thing as a fighter, or with anything that you do in your life. You find the patterns in your life, the rhythms, the types of people, the expectations in your life, and figure out how to play them with surprise and greatness. You don’t have to stay on the same couch in the same position your entire life. Its okay to up-end causality; it’s what makes room for greatness. Change it up.”

EMBRACE SUFFERING.

 “You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable,” he says. “What we do to become great fighters is we train so hard every day that we can barely talk, so that when we get our 15 minutes in the cage, we don’t panic, we don’t break down, we can take whatever hits as they come, and still make the winning choice. If you’re expecting to suffer and problems happen, which they do, you’re going to fold. When you fold, you don’t grow. We’re here to grow, no matter what we’re doing. So be willing to suffer.”

BE OPEN TO GREATNESS.

 “Whenever you start on a project of self-improvement and it’s done positively, that’s not ever going to be a bad choice, ever,” Jackson says. “Anyone can walk into my gym, or get up wherever they are in the morning, and begin being better exactly where they are. Get your tools. Get in shape. Suffer well. Learn how your mind and body are connected. You’ll find confidence, and in that, your greatness.”

 He has it designed so pretty here.

Sending Some Christmas Spirit

30 Nov

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Artist Love: Ashley Percival

14 Nov


While browsing on Society 6, I stumbled upon the artist Ashely Percival. Her subjects included many whimsical owls wearing hats and scarves. I was hooked immediately. I love her use of textures and personification.


Ashley graduated in 2010 from Falmouth and works as a freelance illustrator in the UK. You can purchase prints, iphone cases, shirts and more from her Society 6 store.