Hwy 102 Soap Emporium

Many of you know that I try (I say try because, I’m only human, and sometimes it’s not always possible)  to eat as clean as possible. I’m gluten free (celiac) , mostly dairy (cow) free as of recently, and strive to cook using simple nutrient dense ingredients. I worked at Whole Foods Market for 8 years before staying home full-time, and between my time in the prepared foods department, and over half a decade in the marketing department, I learned so much about how our food is made, the importance, not only to our bodies- but to the environment, of eating and living sustainably & as green as possible, and why it benefits everyone involved to source products that are handmade/farm raised.
That being said, I’ve been on a mission to find some new green products to add to my daily routine, so I was thrilled when Hwy 102 Soap Emporium contacted me through Collabor8 to partner with them, and obviously said “YES!!”
I received the Chamomile Exfoliating Mineral Goat Milk Soap , Lavender Lotion, and 4 bath bombs: Cotton Candy, Dream, Nut N’ Honey, and Huckleberry.

The Exfoliating Soap is seriously to die for. I snapped this pic after washing my hands with it, and good.NESS….I could feel it at work immediately! The sweet floral of the chamomile lightly scented my skin and I could tell my hands were softer right away. As soon as I took the pic, I promptly put that sucker in my shower because OMG I need it in my life every day!

You can get these beautiful soaps at Jane.com , where they will be featured at a discount for the next 3 days! Stock up- you won’t regret it!
The Lavender Fields lotion is everything I hoped it would be. Lavender is my favorite calming scent (I actually used it while I was in labor with my oldest). The slightly sweet, woody, and  floral scent is instant tranquility in a bottle. The lotion is creamy and hydrating, and absorbs quickly into your skin without leaving a greasy feeling. I am keeping it in my nightstand to use before bed for some instant zen (which I totally need with my anxiety & insomnia!)

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I will update after I use these bath bombs, but they are too pretty not to share! They are each handmade and individually wrapped. These would make great gifts!! Here is what they have to say about these cute little bombs! :

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“Parents, are you tired of sticky faces and smelly butts? Are you considering covering your home in plastic, because those pesky children of yours won’t bathe? Well, we have the solution to make bath time fun, and dare we say something they ask for! Our bath bombs full of skin soothing ingredients start out white, and as the children watch amazed, a bright fun color bomb will soon emerge and turn bath time from a drab, clear experience to a brightly hued party! These bombs are perfectly safe and nontoxic for bath time, and will not dye your children or the tub!”

Here’s a little bit about Hwy 102 Soap Emporium from their founders Lindsay Reay and Lyndse Gibbs:
“Hwy 102 Soap Emporium’s goal is to produce the finest goat milk products that are not only good for all ages and skin types, but also good for the environment. We will strive to keep the purchasing of the goods, and the production of our handmade products local to Utah”
Last but absolutely not least! Curious where the goat’s milk comes from? They know the goats! Learn more about the Hattons, the people that provide the main ingredient in these yummy smelling (don’t eat them 😉 ) products, and the sweet little goats themselves!:

“We are the Hatton’s, and we live on a small farm in northern Utah. We enjoy growing our own produce, and raising animals for companionship as well as their resources. We began raising goats three years ago. We started our herd with one little Nubian yearling and soon realized how much we loved having her around. It didn’t take us long to grow our herd to the fifteen goats we now have. Our goats are all very kind and loving which makes milking them even more enjoyable!”

Full disclosure: I received these products in exchange for a post, but rest assured I would never share a product I didn’t fully believe in! I hope you’ll love these products as much as I do!

Beautifully Handmade by Krafty Kash designs


2014 – ’16 has been a time of huge changes for our family- immediate and extended. For my pack of 5, we had twins, a few job changes, I left my career of 8 years to stay home, my husband got his real estate license, we sold our house, moved out of state, I was finally diagnosed for my anxiety, among other small things.
Beyond that,in our extended families, there have been more international moves, out of country moves, tragic accidents, and more. With that there have also been many new and happy memories, milestones met by the kids, and lots of love  and so much laughter in between the tears. It has been a time where we not only relied on each other to make it through- but our faith as well.
We’ve been stretched and tested and humbled and reminded that God is in control. I am such a perfectionist and that has been such a BIG struggle for me; to, as the saying goes, “let go and let God.” But it is so true. Life is full of curve balls and as much as we try to plan, things come up and you just have to ride the wave.


I was fortunate enough to collaborate with Krafty Kash designs, through an awesome platform (you’ve probably heard me mention before) called Collabor8. I saw their beautiful handmade custom bible and map jewelry and I knew I wanted to tell you guys about it! I spoke with Kristina and she let me choose a word or scripture, and 2 charms to go with it for my piece. I knew instantly what I wanted.

For my custom necklace, I chose Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.” And my kids birthstones. She was gracious enough to include 2 of the March stones for my twins, along with the December for my oldest.

This verse has carried me through the past couple of years. When I feel like I want to lose hope, I am reminded that God is in control and all the steps are ordered. Kristina was an absolute joy to work with, friendly and accommodating.

I can’t wait to purchase more pieces from Kraftykash! I will treasure my necklace forever. Check out their beautiful handmade jewelry at KraftyKash or on Instagram @kraftykash !

Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received this peice in exchange for an honest review. Rest assured that I would never promote a product or brand I didn’t fully believe in.

Why the Time Sawyer is my Favorite Watch

One of my goals with this blog is to use it as a platform to share some of my favorite things with you! As you may have gathered, I love supporting small businesses, but I also love shopping with purpose.
If you’re on the market for an amazing time piece from a socially conscious brand, you have got to check out Arvo!


I am absolutely in love with this beautiful watch! The leather is wonderful quality and the stitch work is flawless. It’s packaged in a thick, well designed box and protective foam, and covered with clear plastic to keep it safe during shipping. I love that as I was setting the time, with each pass of the hour mark, it made a little tick sound. I know that’s such a silly thing for me to find joy in, but to me it shows great quality craftsmanship! The face of the watch is absolutely gorgeous and minimal, which I love, and is engraved on the back with their tag line, “Be good. Do good.” I mean, cmon! So cool right?? Check out their mission here to learn more about it! Another reason I love this watch is because I am so obsessed with the way the gold of the watch face matches perfectly the gold in my antique heirloom wedding ring-( I’ll share more about that at a later date. It’s so very dear to me.) There are markings on the inside of the band, with the brand on one side and “genuine leather” on the other. The clasp of the watch is also engraved “Arvo”, just another mark of a high quality watch!


My husband Caleb is into all things men’s fashion. (He’s got more shoes & closet space than I do!) His Amazon wish list is filled with what looks like the entirety of a men’s boutique. I’ve got to give it to him though, he is always lookin’ s-h-a-r-p! Anyway, onto the point…The model of the watch may be Caleb’s favorite thing….he’s a big Rush fan, and this models is called the Time Sawyer (so clever!), which Arvo has engraved on the back of the watch face. I can’t say enough about the amazing quality of this watch, it’s SO good, and Caleb keeps trying to steal it from me! I know what I’m getting him for Christmas!

Thank you Arvo for this beautiful product, you’ve gained a lifetime customer!!!
Full disclosure: I received this watch from Arvo & Collabor8 in exchange for an honest review, and I can honestly say I LOVE this watch. Highly reccommend!

Fun with Tava Adventures


I recently had the opportunity to check out these amazing passport packs from Tava Adventures. They are interactive packets with learning cards and activities to take with you to your destination when traveling with kids.

Each pack comes with cards breaking down the history and culture of certain monuments and points of interest, in a way that your tiny adventurers will understand. On the backs of the cards are puzzles, crosswords, fill in the blanks, doodle prompts and more.

I chose the Venice and Rome packs. While we didn’t actually travel to these cities with the kids, I thought it would be a fun way to teach Jude a little bit about his Italian heritage! Along with our Tava packs, we looked at pictures online as well as videos for each of the landmarks. It was a “staycation”!


He had so much fun doing the activities and I loved that while reading the descriptions to him, he asked questions! I could see his little gears turning as he processed everything, and the excitement on his face as we got to each new card was priceless!


These passport packs are very well made. They come in bright blue “passports” that are held together with an elastic band. Once you open them, you are sure to be instantly charmed, as I was, by the beautiful illustrations and colors on each card.


There is a little luggage tag as well, in its own separate sleeve, where your little one can put his or her name! I can’t wait to actually take these traveling one day, but until then- I see many more staycations with Tava Adventures passports in our future!


Here is a little bit more about them directly from their website:
Who are we?
Hi! We are Tay and Ava (Tava). We love to travel and believe the world is too exciting to be wasting time sleeping and eating. We love adventure! Our latest adventure (Ava’s brain cancer) has been a harder adventure to be on than most but we are hoping that Ava will have a clean bill of health soon so we can get back on the road to see the world! We hope you will follow along.
Our Mission Statement
“To inspire all young globe-trotters to never stop searching for the next adventure and to always take one step further than the day before”

 

You can find all of the passport packs at : TavaAdventures.com

Treatsie Time! 


It’s Treatsie Time!! If you know me well, you know that the sweet tooth is STRONG with this one! 💃 Y’all I may be late to the Treatsie party, but better late than never right?! They are your go to source for curated gourmet, artisan candy subscription boxes and let me tell you, my family can’t stop raving about how good these treats are! You can even shop a la carte 24/7 whenever that candy craving hits. I love the fact that I don’t have to get dressed and go to the store with the kids to get these, because idk about you, but when I want to treat myself, I want it now. Plus, no whining at the store. 😉I can stash my box away and ration it, because everything in moderation. (You know you stash yours too!).

Here is a preview of the May Treastie box including: Finally Ginger cookies, Raley’s Confectionary, Torie & Howard, and Belgian Boys with the added “Add to Box” option of the CocoRouge bar. Here’s my breakdown of the goodies:

Torie & Howard Organic Chewie Fruities:
Hands down, these were my favorite in the box and I will also OFFICALLY let it be known that these are my NEW FAVORITE of ANY candy. (My birthday is coming up, Sept 16, if anyone wants to know what to get me…Id happily devour several or thirty bags of these in one sitting.) The pack came with an assortment of pomegranate nectarine, blood orange and honey, and lemon raspberry chewies. They are soft and sweet and have the most beautiful jewel toned colors, thanks to the fruit and veggie dyes that color them. Full of organic ingredients, and void of chemicals- I am happy to enjoy these with my kiddos. Find more info on these yummies at http://www.torieandhoward.com

Raley’s Confectionary Acid Drops:

These beautiful little hard candies are almost too pretty to eat, almost! They are fruity and sour, but not too sour. My 3 year old loves them and since opening the bag, has been getting one or two per day when he helps with his chores. They are obviously hand crafted as they are cut at different lengths, which I think adds to their beautiful charm. I am googoo over these because not only do they taste amazing but I can see that so much care went into making them! For more info on Acid Drops, check out: http://www.raleysconfectionary.com


Belgian Boys Stroopwafel:

As you know, I’m gluten free so unfortunately I couldn’t partake in these glorious treats, but that didn’t stop my littles from devouring them in less than 10 minutes. The pack comes with two waffle sandwiches, with a creamy sticky caramel layered between. The back of the packaging said “Troublemakers of taste” and I had to give a little chuckle because the kids were fighting over the last few bites! Definitely caused some trouble at my place! 😉 Jude (my 3 year old) got his own cookie and the twins split one between the two of them. They were soft and smelled oh so sweet. Jude said they are “sweet and delicious!!” He’s pretty picky, so I’d take his word for it. For more about the Stroopwafel, visit: http://www.belgianboys.com


Finally Ginger Artisinal Ginger Cookies:

Another treat I personally couldn’t enjoy but my husband and kids chomped these down! Aside from the absolutely adorable graphic packaging, I’d say these sweet and spicy cookies were a win. Caleb said they had a slight snap to them. Not quite enough to be a ginger snap but not chewey enough to be a ginger chew. He enjoyed the texture quite a bit and teased Jude when he asked for a bite- pretending to not want to share. Jude always giggles when he tries something he likes and after biting into the ginger cookie, giggles surely ensued! I’d call it a win for these cookies! For more on Finally Ginger, visit: http://www.finallyginger.com


CocoaRouge Dark Chocolate Coffee Bean Bar:

This. You guys… THIS! For anyone who loves coffee and loves chocolate, this bar is the perfect thing for you. As soon as I heard the name, I swear I heard angels singing. No joke. The heavens opened up, and I heard them! When I first bit into this beautifully dark bar, the slight bitterness of the chocolate was only to be outdone by the unexpected crunch of ACTUAL coffee beans. I was expecting some sort of coffee flavoring…but this is full on, in your face, COFFEE y’all. I am so in love with this bar! I would be ordering it by the case if I could! Do yourselves a favor and try these bars! Also, that wrapper is seriously frame worthy. As an illustrator and lover of all things coffee, it’s seriously what my dreams are made of! Check out more of CocoaRouge at: https://www.facebook.com/Cocoa-Rouge-303768856484070/


Here is a little bit more info from Treastie about what to expect with your subscription:

Treatsie is your source for artisan, gourmet candies that you might not have found otherwise. We offer the monthly base surprise box, our add-to-box customization program and a 24-hour shop.

Each box is an adventure, filled with different treats each month. We use a combination of full sizes, samples, and deluxe-sized sample products.

We offer a variety of desserts, from brownies, cookies and creative bars to chocolate bars, toffees, caramels and chewy fruit candies.

Billing is monthly recurring on the same day you sign up. There are discounts for signing up for quarterly and annually billed subscriptions. Monthly= $19.95, Quarterly=$56.85 ($18.95 per box) Annually=$203.00 ($16.92 per box)

Boxes ship around the same time each month, most boxes arrive between the 20-25th of each month.

In addition to signing up for the base surprise box, you can add items to your box in the Add-to-box program. The first week of every month, we offer special desserts for sale that can be added to your surprise box. You can choose items and have them shipped with your box. By using code ADDTOBOX at checkout, you get free shipping.

We also have a 24-hour shop where you can purchase one-off items whenever your sweet tooth strikes!

Canceling is easy, and can be done at any time. Product that has already been paid for will be shipped as scheduled.

We also have a blog where we share creative baking and sweet-related content.
Complete background on the Treatsie system:

Treatsie wants to be your go-to source for high-end, small batch treats; whether they come to you as a surprise in your monthly subscription box, chosen by you and added to that box or purchased from our shop.

The majority of our customers subscribe to our monthly box. This box is hand-selected by our team; each box is a variety of sweets that were sourced from artisan candy makers from all over the country and range from delicious and dainty pate-de-fruit to creamy chocolate bars in intriguing flavors to playful caramel corn.

Each month is a new sweet, mysterious adventure. Our boxes are hand packed and shipped around the same time each month. We begin putting boxes together the Monday after the 15th of each month, regardless of when you order. If you order by midnight on the 14th, you are placed into the current month’s box flow. If you order after that, your first box will be the following month. We find that sending the boxes together helps maintain the surprise so everyone gets to experience that month’s box at the same time! Also, since we are working with perishable items, we work with a “just in time” delivery system, which means all of the monthly box items arrive a few days before packing and then we box them up and ship them right back out to you. It makes for a few very hectic days during pack week for us, but it ensures that you get the freshest snacks possible. We like to think the extra effort is worth it.

Each box has 4 to 6 items and we aim for a $25 value per box. While some subscription boxes focus on the high value to cost ratio, we feel that the value in our box comes from the discovery of new treats. We aren’t receiving free samples and passing them along to you, we buy each and every sweet that goes into the box, supporting these small, local businesses all over the country.

We have collected a small group here at Treatsie who are passionate about sweets and we would love for you to be a part of what we’ve built.

I had an amazing experience with Treatsie! The entire process working with them was a joy, the box shipped quickly with an enclosed ice pack and my family and I LOVED the products. We will definitely be shopping the website ASAP for some more a la carte goodness. I am so so excited to be partnering with them to bring you an offer for DOUBLE the goodies in your first box! Just type in code: KIMILOVE at checkout at http://www.treatsie.com !

How to be Present as a Work at Home Mom

 


It’s been about 2 1/2 years since “officially” leaving my previous 9-5 employer of 8 years. I was put on bed rest during my twin pregnancy in January ’15, welcomed my little preemies to the world that March, and resigned that July.  Staying home to raise our kids was the best decision my husband and I have ever made for our family, but it has no doubt been a challenge…and, I say that with total gratitude and in the best way possible.

Anyone with kids understands that being a parent is totally a thankless job. It’s kind of just part of the gig. It’s what we sign up for. And whether you work out of the home, stay at home, or work from home, I believe it’s indeed the single most important position we as parents will hold in our lifetimes.

I have been on all sides of the above (as far as working situations go) in my short 4 and something years as a mother, and all have their ups and downs, and one is no more or less acceptable or okay than the other. We’re all just trying to do the best we can for our kids, and I love that.

Now, I just have to say that I won’t try to pretend that I have it all together, because truth is- most days I flounder about & fail five times times before I succeed. But that’s all part of personal growth, and part of teaching my kids that it’s okay make mistakes, as long as we try (and try and try..) to do better. Hey, I’m human …and unless there’s some new crazy robotics technology that I’m not aware of, I’m pretty sure you are too.

So here is my experience, for whatever it’s worth.

Transitioning from a consistent paycheck, deadlines, and even appreciations for a job well done to 24/7 selflessness and perpetual sleep deprivation is a heavy transition.
Over the past 2.5 years I’ve been consumed with guilt for not “working” (in the traditional sense of course), and overwhelmed with gratitude & humility at the opportunity that has been presented to me to stay home and raise my children- my lifelong dream. I know that none of this would be possible without having to face the hard challenges that we did, and without the help of my incredibly supportive family. I am forever grateful for the opportunity and know that in this day and age it is so much harder to come by. I don’t want to take that for granted.

This lifestyle has no doubt  taken much sacrifice of not only the life we once lived, but of self, and of expectations.
Most days, I try to fill the time between naps with my odd jobs- lettering and design work, social media consulting, and this blog. And once my husband gets home, my nights are filled with my actual job, doing photography and imaging for a top jewelry retailer, a job I absolutely love.

Doing these things definitely helps with the guilt trips I put on myself, but I have learned that there is definitely an art to balancing the hustle with the little ones still in tow.

It’s hard work to try to do it all. When this work life balance is off kilter, enter the anxiety and the mommy guilt for not feeling present or spending enough time on the house and with the kids.

I put together a simple list of things I do to remind myself to be present while working at home, keeping the balance. Please keep in mind that I am in no way an expert on this topic (an expert at changing diapers maybe, but a life coach I am not!). I am just sharing the things that have worked for me. I hope these tips help you in your work at home journey!:

1. Set work hours:
Give yourself designated hours to work (I know, it’s ALL work when you’re an at home parent…here, I’m talking about your income producing tasks) and stick to them. Whether this means waking up before the kids to check your emails and reply to clients, or going full on after their bed time, do what works for you! It helps you get into that routine again, and the kids know that your work hours are for helping the family. They may still tug on your shirt and want you to play, and that’s okay too. Just get back to it when you can, or start over the next day. It’s a process to adjust to, but it has definitely helped me! I have 3 under 5- an almost 5 year old and 2 year old twins, and they constantly want to play (which I LOVE), so I set my hours for nap time and after bed time so I can be as present as possible while they’re awake.

2.Unplug:
…depending on the type of work you do, of course. For me, this is a no brainer…but sometimes it’s easier said then done. Let family time be family time. When you aren’t working, leave your devices in another room. (Especially during meals and story time!)

3. Get on their level:
It really helps me to sit down on the floor at my kids’ level. I experience the world through their eyes, and am reminded what a precious fleeting season of life this is! While it’s important for you to have something for you (part of why I personally choose to work from home), it’s also extremely important for your kids to know they are your priority. Mine get so excited when I’m down on the ground playing with them, plus I win “cool points”, and as a mom, I can never really get enough of those from my kids…I wonder if I can stockpile a surplus of them for the teenage years to come….is that how that works?

4. Keep a daily schedule:
I started doing this again maybe a week or so ago, and boy- I wish I had done it sooner. This totally streamlines my day! I made a schedule with times, and three different columns (mommy, Jude, and twins- can be edited depending on your kids’ ages to mommy, baby, toddler, etc.) I write out per hour or so what we normally do in each time, and find the slots where I can get my work done while the kids are occupied with other things. This will surely vary based on your situation, and can seem sort of extreme, but for a crazy multitasker with anxiety like myself- it has SO helped. This is not all to say that you have to stick strictly to the schedule (because we ALL know, when a child refuses to nap, all bets are off…), but helps serve as a guide to a productive work day AND a productive parenting day, while still allowing your kids to do their thing. (I will upload a free printable template if there is a desire for it!)

5. Let them “help” you work:
Whenever there are tasks that I can have my almost 5 year old help me with, he jumps on them! Whether it’s stamping or sealing envelopes, picking out designs, offering color suggestions, grabbing me a certain pen or paintbrush- he eats it up! Get them involved and let them know that you value their help and “expertise”.

6. Eat together: 
This is SO important for our family. Even though we moved halfway across the country, are living with family, and have crazy schedules, we have and will always make it a point to sit down and have dinner together. Some nights, my husband may work and it’s just me and the kids, but I so treasure this time with them. My 3 year old and I talk about our day (while I also negotiate with him over taking 5 more bites of his food lol), talk about our feelings, plan exciting and fun things to do for the next day. We are totally in eachothers company, and totally present. It is definitely my favorite part of the day.

7. Breathe & give yourself some grace!: 
I’m going to be real with you. All of these things are awesome, IF you can remember to do them everyday. I am the QUEEN of beating myself up…no really. I am constantly fudging up, giving myself guilt trips and telling myself I’m no good at what I’m doing. I feel guilty for not working, but would feel even more guilty for leaving. I have good days and bad days. But you know what, I have a feeling that THAT’S MOTHERHOOD! Some days are amazing and I am present, and happy, and the kids are happy, and everything flows. Other days, I feel like crying and I want to stay in my sweats all day and binge watch OUAT with a 5 Lb bag of Jelly Bellys (don’t judge me, sister)! If you are still learning this balancing act, which I think, for me at least, is going to be a life long thing- take a step back, take a deep breath, give yourself some grace, and go love on those kids. Remember, you’re doing the best you can. They just want YOU, your love and your attention. They are the reason we do this, after all.

 

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*Thanks for taking the time and reading! Please, say hello! I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please keep it friendly, this is a community based on support and encouragement ❤️.

Choosing Joy

Getting caught up in the raging rapids of a hectic day is so easy to do. Trust me, I know all too well. It’s so easy to have a day start off on the wrong note…and then to straight up milk it the rest of the day. You woke up twenty minutes late, ugh. You ran out of milk for your coffee, ugh. Your hair is all friggin’ wonky and you just.cant.get your eyeliner to flick out evenly on both sides, UGH. Nothing is going right. You’re irritated as hell, and nothing can change it. So, you carry this nasty chip on your shoulder the rest of the day. You’re mad at the car who waited too long to go when the light turned green, or irritated when you ask a question and don’t get the answer you wanted, or upset that your spouse just.doesnt.get it, or, or, or.
You’re tired. You’re frustrated…..

Let me tell you something; you don’t have to be.

Those moments when you have nothing left to give. When the kids are whining and rolling their little bodies all over the ground in exhaustion. When the dogs are being crazy and won’t stop barking. When the house is a mess and laundry’s unfolded and you’re thinking of all the million things you couldn’t get done. Stop. Take a deep breath, and find the things to smile about. The kids are exhausted from a full day of playing. The dogs are barking because they love you and want to protect you. The house is a mess and things are undone, but you have shelter, and clothes. There is always a bright side when you stop to look for one.

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I know all too well how easy it is to turn a bad moment into a bad day. Choose joy instead. It’s easy to let that feeling of self pity take over and run the show. Don’t let it. Choose joy instead. CHOOSE to wake up and let both feet hit the floor ready for a new adventure. Choose to let the little stuff be just what it is- little. Tell yourself, first thing in the morning, that the day is going to be beautiful, that life is a gift, and that you are going to make the best of WHATEVER comes your way, that it’s a brand.new.day with so much potential. I know that everyone’s walk is different. Some of you may be having the most amazing day of your lives, while others are dealing with things I can’t even begin to imagine….but you’re here, you’re alive. And that… is a beautiful thing. There is SO much beauty in that alone. Do you know how amazing the human body is? Like, really, truly amazing!  What a gift! Isn’t that enough to smile about!? Whatever your circumstance is, I challenge you to choose joy. It’s much harder to stop and intentionally choose, but it’s so worth it. There’s so much good. Stop. Breathe. Find it. Live it.

A Walking Contradiction

Okay, I’m going to be honest here for a minute. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m 28 and still figuring things out… and that’s okay! Some of you may say “Oh, you’re only 28, you’ve got your whole life to figure it out!” And others, “WOW LADY!!! 28? And you STILL don’t know? I feel sorry for you!…” I get that…probably all too well, because these are the things I tell myself constantly. Here’s the thing, when you have anxiety- your whole day is talking yourself into and out of the random thoughts that pop in your head. You know better, but you can’t help it. It’s exhausting, but I’m worth it.

On a physical level – I’m struggling to lose my baby weight from the twins (born March 2015). I am currently on week 3 of the CIZE program by Shaun T. Most days i’m like YEAH, i’m totally kicking this extra weights @$$, and others, like today I’m at the other end..”you’ve ONLY lost 7 lbs. It’s been 3 weeks. Just give up, it’s not worth it.” See? A walking contradiction…and that’s okay. I will keep going, because I find myself more motivated by the lack of progress than I do discouraged. I will keep feeding my body whole foods and nutrient packed supplements and limit the artificial junk that was never supposed to be made into “food” in the first place. It’s exhausting, but I’m worth it.

On an intellectual level- I find myself torn in two directions when I hear debates on certain topics. Some “hot button” which we won’t get into (this is not the time or place for that), some minuscule and irrelevant. When you’re younger you think you have it all figured out…you’re SO SURE of the things you know…but then…life happens…you SEE things, you experience things…you get married, or buy a house, or start a family…or there’s a traumatic event that happens, or a death…and these things that you thought you knew all of a sudden don’t make any sense. You look back at things you did, or said, and you can’t even stand your old self. “Who WAS that?” you think. You shy away from certain conversations because you don’t know HOW you feel anymore. It’s not so black and white. You see both sides of the story. Maybe I’m not supposed to know? It has affected my confidence in ways I’ve not experienced before…but I’m working on getting it back. I do know that my position on many topics is one of empathy. I do know that LOVE and EQUALITY and JUSTICE will ALWAYS be my heart’s deciding factors. I do know that where there is an injustice, I will be the first person to stand up and say something. I may not KNOW things, but I FEEL, and maybe that should be enough, and maybe I should learn to appreciate that about myself… that I feel deeply. It’s exhausting, but it’s worth it.

I DO know that I was fearfully and wonderfully made, that I was a lost and lonely sinner and by some amazing miracle I was saved by grace, by Love Himself.  I was created to pour that love & light into the world around me. That I’m sure of. I know that I am undeserving and broken, but through His love I am made whole. My heart knows, my soul knows. And in these moments of anxiety, I will let that be enough. il_fullxfull.559429966_bk2m

Make Yourself at Home

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I am starting this blog to share my journey as a work at home mama of 3, an illustrative designer and letter, wife, believer, celiac, and California girl living in Texas, and living with anxiety. I am a wearer of many hats, as I believe a lot of women are, and I would love to build a community of readers who support and encourage each other. My hope is to not only share with you bits of my life, but that I would get a peek into yours as well, growing friendships, learning new things, and adding value to each other’s lives! Join me on this crazy adventure; of a creative soul, saved by Grace and fueled by coffee!