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Joining the Crew

10 Apr

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It’s been forever since I’ve posted to this blog, but I couldn’t think of any better comeback then to announce we have a little one joining our humble crew of two this fall. Before I conceived this little lady, I dreamed of nights slaving away on baby art projects. Knitted toys and blankets, nursery art, pillows, etc. After all I have 10 months, right? Well the first trimester was a rude awakening on just how little energy, creativity, or motivation I would have to put towards the regular housework and cooking duties I have, much less art projects. This little announcement was a massive labor of love  on its own. But one thing I’m learning the closer to September I get is that the other stuff isn’t really that important. We prayed for this little one, and couldn’t be more excited or blessed to undertake this new journey God has granted us.

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The Day I Became Mrs. Young

2 Nov

I can’t count the hours I sat around daydreaming about this day, imagining who would be there and how things would look. Now that the photos are in front of me, I can relive that day over and over. I’m so thankful to all my friends and family who showed up and pitched in a helping hand. I’m more then blessed by all the love that has been poured out.

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weddingblog18So hard to pair down on my favorites, you can view more here.

Photography Nick Drollette//Florals Evan & Co.//Cakes Creative Cakes by Katherine//Paper Goods Bride

 

 

Fake It Mentality

12 Jun

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“Fake it till you make it.” It’s a quote I heard in a freshman art class. I was completely lost and most of my art work was a stab at the dark. When I heard that quote, I immediately latched on to the concept. It was a perfect, I could pretend I knew what I was doing and for years I lived with just that mentality. Not just in art but in many areas where I had passion but felt that I was completely inadequate to do the job.

Problem with this method is that is fools no one but yourself. It got me into a rut, because I  led myself to believe that I was a fraud at what I do. I lost my drive for why I began to do things in the beginning. I couldn’t have gotten where I’m at if I wasn’t capable of my actions in the first place.

I’m not capable either without God. It’s by his grace I have the talents I possess and it undermines him when I fall back on the “fake it” mentality. I don’t want to fake my abilities. I want to put the small abilities that I do possess into the hands of my creator and use my passion to serve him as the driving force behind my actions. To allow him to expand what little talent I do have into a real tangible gift. Sometimes we are blessed with great amounts of a certain talent/s, other times we are blessed with small amounts of talent and a whole lot of heart. We don’t have to be the best, we just have to release what we do have and be willing to step out and be a little uncomfortable. If God has given the ability, the desire, and the calling, he can more than easy fill the gaps of what we lack.

*graphic from here

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Mr. Willie

30 Apr

So every now and then auto tune does a gem. I was shown this video last night of a Walmart Greeter in Arkansas, Mr. Willie. I think I was suppose to laugh, but I actually teared up. Why? Because he’s so joyful and happy and does his job with enthusiasm. How often do we complain about our job. I’m not going to lie but being a door greeter isn’t on my list of fave jobs to have. But can you imagine how happy we would all be if we put this kind of joy into all the work we do, even the simplest of things we feel are not important. Mr. Willie, thank you for being a ray of light.

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.

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.

What Inspires You?

5 Oct

I came across this video series a couple of years ago. It’s no secret but I absolutely adore Rifle Paper Co. (Who doesn’t?) Her style, the colors, and the passion behind her work drive me to always raise the bar. The video is part of a series, “Do What You Love.”  The series features women who are doing what they love and finding success in that.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “Do What You Love,” you say? Well that doesn’t pay the bills or sure that works for them in blogger land but certainly not me. I get the feeling, you work hard and then you hit a wall. I think it’s a great inspirer to remember you’re placed on this earth with certain talents and gifts for a reason. Sure maybe you haven’t figured out exactly what your gift it but you got a passion. God has given each of us talents to be used. It might not seem like it could make much of a difference but how could we impact the world if we all did what we loved to do?

When I started art classes my freshmen year of college I had really no idea what design was or how it was produced. I only knew that when I saw the work of older classmates I had a deep resounding passion of this is what I should do. So though I embarrassingly admit that I was terrified I was going to have to hand produce my design materials (who would have thought that stuff wasn’t just on a computer somewhere?) I kept going. When I stumbled upon this video two years ago that same clueless, yet passionate excitement rose back up within me.

I know this is my gift, I’ll never be Anna Bond. But God has given me this passion and even though I have days where I think who really cares about stationery anymore, I know this is what I love to do.

I encourage you all to do the same, find what you love to do and then DO IT. Check out the rest of the series. Perhaps you’ll find one that speaks to you.

Happy Friday, enjoy the weekend!