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How to make a Boho wall hanging for less than $12

So, I’ll admit that when I get bored, I search for things to make, change, or DIY. Eric thinks I’m crazy and can’t relax, but I find joy in it. Sometimes, they are nothing worth showing the world, and other times, like today, they are gold.

So let’s talk….

This was my wall:

Pretty empty, ammiright?! You can see why I needed something. I knew I wanted something without words or pictures, so I thought a wall hanging would be perfect.

You will need:

– a dowel rod: any size but I think the one I used was 1/2 inch. I got it in the craft section at Walmart for $1.97.

– 3 rolls of yarn: I’ll be honest when I say that I didn’t even use half of what I thought I would. For instance, I bought the jumbo size in the white, but didn’t use half of it, so I could have saved money. The colors I chose from Walmart were: Mainstays Basis Yarn- 10004 Soft Gray Heather $1.97, Mainstays Basis Yarn- 10005 Medium Gray Heather, and Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo- Soft White $5.84.

-Scissors

Optional:

– jute 2mm twine: I already had this at home, but you can buy a whole role at Walmart.com for $5.55 and you will only use about 2 yards of it. I used this to hang it, but you can just use nails, or the yarn, or really anything laying around the house.

– artificial ivy, eucalyptus, or something of the sort for decor. This was something I had at home, but you could use something like this. You won’t need the whole vine, but you could cut it and use it for other projects like I do.

Step 1: Start by cutting 70 inch strands of your darkest color. You will need 50 strips total.

Step 2: Take 5 of your strands and begin making slip loops (I have no idea if that’s what it’s called, but roll with me people) like the picture, on your dowel rod. You will want to make 10 loops total and center them.

Ps. If you have cats, this project will be harder than necessary.

Step 3: You will repeat step 1 with your middle colored yarn. You will need 50 strips. Then, just like the dark color, you will begin to make slip loops of 5 strands, 5 total loops on each side of the dark.

Step 4: With the lightest color, you will to cut 200 strips. Continuing the groups of 5 strands, you will make 20 slip loops on the outer side of the middle colored yard, like the pictures below.

Step 5: I took two 70 inch strands of each of the 3 color and made a slip loop in between the 9th and 10th loop of the lightest color on each side. Once the loop is tightened, I braided it all the way down, securing it with a simple knot.

Step 6: I decided to add jute twine to make it easy to hang. I made strands as long as my arms and double knotted them on the outer sides of the dowel rod and hung on a simple nail.

Step 7: I decided that I wanted to make the bottom of my yarn come to a point, but this is totally optional. No matter if you keep it straight or angle it, I would advise that you wait to cut until it’s hung, so you can make sure it’s at the proper length.

Step 8: I added some faux ivy that I had laying around the house to spruce it up a bit.

And ba-da-bing-ba-da-boom, you’re done. I hope you enjoyed this DIY Boho wall hanging tutorial! Make sure to follow along on Instagram for more DIY updates that I do around my country home.

35 Things I Want My Kids To Learn Before They Leave

I’m sitting here and it begins to set in that I am going to have children soon. Carpets in, bunk beds set up, paints done. What is life? How are we here already? Am I ready? Am I good enough for this?

You know what every single one of my mom friends told me when I shared that the devil was creeping in hard? They all reassured me that they have those same feelings and are just winging it themselves. What a relief, ammiright? I mean, I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels like this. I know life won’t be unicorns and butterflies, but I can’t stop thinking and dreaming about lessons I want every kid in my home to remember.

So here it is, 35 things that I want every kid that comes in my house to learn:

1. Don’t peak in high school- It’s hard to believe it at that time, but there is life beyond high school. It is so important to continue to grow, learn, and to be a good person of society. The world of far bigger and far better than high school, don’t stop there.

2. Protect your body- Your body is a temple. Cliche, I know. But it is so important to make it the most sacred temple ever. There will be people who will say anything they can to make you believe that you aren’t worthy or will try to tear it down, it’s the devil creeping his way in. They will tell you that your worth is only in looks, but you are far more than that. Shut that down so fast. No person worth your time and energy would speak poorly of it, Ask you to send pictures of it, or push you to into crossing a line sexually. Respect yourself so hard that people done have a chance knocking down those doors.

3. You are not your job, the amount of cash you have in the bank, or your possessions- you are far bigger than anything you could ever own. The way treat people and the way we love Jesus is what will leave a mark on society. You belong to a king and that’s where your worth comes from.

4. There is nothing you can or can not do to make God love you less. The magnitude of his love for you is indescribable- what a crazy relief off of the shoulders. We don’t deserve it and we mess up all the time, but God’s never- ending love is far more than we could ever imagine.

5. When dating, treat that person like someone’s wife or husband-I can not stress this enough- even if this isn’t the person you end up with, treat them with the upmost kindness and respect you can offer because you would want someone to do the same to your someday husband or wife.

6. Team work is the best work- and it’s not a competition within might I add. We all have different strengths- Let your energy be used to build, not destroy

7. Family dinners are important- It May seem silly now, but you will you have someday. Such a small way to spend time with the ones you love the most.

8. Be coachable- whether it’s sports or a job, make sure you are constantly growing and constantly learning. If you make a mistake and someone tells you, take it as a learning experience- not that you’re bad!

9. Do small things with great love- a lot of small things add up to great things over time. Make everything you do very purposeful!

10. God didn’t pull David out of the lions den, he protected him with faith and used his story for big things- you WILL go through hard times, not because God is punishing you, but because he is using you and your story for something!

11. Be daringly intentional- put your phone down, set the reminder to reach out to a struggling friend, give gifts with meaning. Do everything with love and purpose.

12. Never take a good person for granted- I promise you will come across people that will do anything for you, don’t abuse or over look that.

13. Always put your shopping cart back where it’s supposed to go- this may seem dumb, but in life the people who go the extra mile, even on what may seem insignificant, are the ones who are successful. I promise you will never see a CEO leave their shopping cart floating around the parking lot.

14. Treat the CEO and the Janitor with the same respect- every single person in your life and workplace have purpose and deserve every ounce of respect. Don’t EVER forget that.

15. Tip well- if you can’t afford to tip at a restaurant, you can’t afford to eat there. Tiping someone is a reflection of what you think they are worth. Even if they are having a bad day, show them their worth as a human.

16. You are not entitled to anything- I’ll say it again for the ones in the back, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ANYTHING. Nothing at all, so be grateful for every opportunity, moment, and title you are given. If you don’t get what you want, work harder.

17. You have to fall in love with the person not the idea of falling in love or the idea of having a significant other- here’s the thing, we romanticize the idea of love that sometimes it can hurt our relationships. You don’t need a significant other to be complete, but one that can make you want to be a better person. It’s not going to be perfect, but it will be worth building from the disagreements. And if they show they don’t love you, believe that over what they say. There are really great, Jesus loving guys out there still that Ditch the toxic masculinity and focus on the good kind, find them.

18. It’s ok to be wrong- yes, you aren’t going to be perfect. If you were, there wouldn’t be a need for Jesus and the event on the cross would mean nothing. It is ok to admit you were wrong, apologize if necessary, and learn from it! Own up and I promise it will make you a better person. Always tell the truth.

19. Stand up for injustice and for those who can’t stand for themselves- if you see someone being bullied, help. If you see a need in your community, do something about it. If you believe something is wrong, don’t go along with it because it’s the “cool” thing to do. Be a life changer.

20. The world is a big exciting place- it’s bigger than your home, it’s bigger than your school, it’s bigger than your town. You will become more empathetic, more understanding, and more cultured if you travel and educate yourself.

21. You are the 5 closest people you spend the most time with- this couldn’t be more true, so pick wisely. Have friends that gossip and bully, so will you or Have friends that are kind and love, so will you! It can be life changing who you hang out with. And you are never stuck, never ever. People evolve and grow, so don’t be afraid to out grow people. This doesn’t mean you stop being nice to them, just change where you spend your time.

22. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake- this fear can stop you from so many great things in life. Mistakes can be looked at in two ways- a detrimental setback or a learning experience. It’s all about how you react. My advice, take a chance, learn from it, apologize if necessary, and grow to the next.

23. Find mentors is all areas of life- be a master observer. Find someone who has great qualities that has gone before you and learn from them. These mentors can be people you know, authors, podcast speakers, anyone who you believe can make you a better person in that area of your life.

24. Comparing yourself to others can steal so much joy and time- I promise that you are in a spot where you are supposed to be and when you compare yourself to someone who may be further in a job or have the significant other or have more things than you, you aren’t being grateful for your journey. I promise you can’t get to the destination, much less appreciate it, without the journey. There are different routes, enjoy the scenery on yours.

25. Change is not a bad thing- change equals growth. Change equals new education. Change equals new experiences. Embrace it and you will go way further in life.

26. When in doubt, ask it out- don’t be afraid to ask questions and educate yourself. If you don’t know something, that’s ok, Ask about it. Ask how to do something right, Ask how to get better, Ask about the knowledge you don’t understand.

27. Take care of your wellness- drink water, look at the ingredients on the products you are using, read your bible or self-growth books, focus on self care, and exercise. Taking care of yourself will change your life.

28. You don’t have to have it all figured out- life is a big, cluster of ever changing events. It’s ok if you don’t know what you want to be when you get older or even if you think you do and it changes. I truly believe that means you are growing through life. Find meaning in things and search for joy always.

29. If you have to choose between being respected and liked, choose being respected- doing the right thing won’t always be the cool thing, but it will pay off tenfold down the road. I promise you that, so tell the truth, stand up for injustice, and be humble.

30. Learn to win and lose humbly- no matter what, both will have learning opportunities, both will bring growth, and both will come with challenges. Being a sore loser or an arrogant winner have consequences.

31. Never settle because that will suck your soul- whether it’s a significant other, a friend group, a job, or anything else m, never settle. Know your worth and add tax! If you don’t, you will find yourself miserable.

32. Work really freaking hard- Oprah, Beyoncé, LeBron, JK Rowling, Ellen, or so many others weren’t just lucky. They didn’t just catch a break, know the right person, or have all the money. Nope, they worked really really hard. When other stopped working or gave up, they worked even harder. What’s the difference between a amateur and a pro? The amateur does it when it’s convenient and the pro does it even when it isn’t.

33. You have no clue what people are going through- Everyone is struggling with invisible emotions and silent situations, so choose kindness….always. I’d rather you be kind than have all the riches in the world.

34. If you see a piece of trash blowing away, pick it up- every small act is a ripple effect on saving this earth and that is our job!

35. You are so loved- no matter what you do, where you go, what job you chose, how much money you have, how popular you are, you are loved by this family more than you could ever imagine. Even when you get in trouble at home, and we are teaching you lessons, it’s because we love you so freaking hard and we want what’s best for you. And there is absolutely nothing you can do to change that.

What are lessons you want to teach your kids?

JAMMIE FEVER!

Things have been a little quite around here, but I promise I have been working on some cool things! I’ve talked about it so much the past week on social media, you’re probably so sick of hearing about it, but guess what?! I’m not stopping until I hit or exceed my goal!

What is it? The January Jammie Drive. I am teaming up with Mod Boutique and Jambos Donates to get jammies to foster kids in our area.

Did you know that because it’s a quick transition for their safety, foster kids come with little or nothing of their own belongings? I know, crazy right! Think about the feeling you get when you’re sitting there in some cozy jammies? Magical right?! So those two concepts? We want to merge them together. We want to bring that magical feeling of brand new jammies to Local Foster kids in need, our goal is 500 jammies to be exact!!

BUT, I NEED YOUR HELP! If you see some jammies on sale, grab them because if you bring a pair to Mod Boutique on Saturday, January 26th, you will get 15% off your order that day! There will be other vendors, a bake sale, and also a booth to answer any questions you may have about foster care set up!

Even if you aren’t local and still want to help, you can purchase off of our amazon list and have them shipped straight to us! You could also be a gem and share the mess out of this blog post so everyone can help! 😊

How close are we to our goal? Check it out below:

29 things I have Learned in 29 years.

I honestly feel like I have learned a lot in my time through the people I have come encountered and the experiences I have found myself in. Here are my pieces of advice or tips I have learned that are worth writing down:

1. I am not worthy of grace, yet he keeps on offering it. The older I get, the more I realize just how big what Jesus did on the cross was and how selfless of a love that is. I promise I prove to God daily that I am undeserving of all the things, yet here I am being loved harder than ever. He does not care about the baggage and there is absolutely nothing I can do to make him love me less or more- now, that is freaking goals.

2. No matter what, take the trip. There have been trips that I have felt the anxiety flow over with leaving or the worry about finances starts sinking in, but every time I go, I feel so free. I realize how big the world is, how much there is to learn, and how much impact I can truly have if I don’t give myself boundaries.

3. If it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes sulking about it. Read it again if you need to because this was life changing for me.

4. It is a waste of time trying to make people who don’t like you, like you. And on that, how important it is to turn a deaf ear to those who hate you for doing you. You aren’t going to be besties with everyone.

5. Comfortable footwear will make for a better time. Now this doesn’t mean that it can’t be cute because I have some of the most comfortable heals on the planet, but it’s not worth sacrifice your event for something as small as shoes.

6. 99% of people only upload the happy, don’t get stuck comparing and being jealous. You will waste your energy that you could be using elsewhere.

7. Your parents are right, you are who you surround yourself with. I have some of the most smart, talented, hardworking friends and look, I am pushing big things in my life.

8. Children, cats, and dogs are the best things on the earth. Whatever we did to deserve their happiness, genuine love, and gentleness, I am forever grateful.

9. Don’t be a free loader with your friends businesses. You are showing them their worth by paying, I promise it’s worth it.

10. Leaders are readers. A good leader is constantly educating themselves on how to be better.

11. Dig into whatever breaks your heart. Whether that is work or volunteering, your passion in that will impact so big.

12. Your wellness is so important, both physical and mental. Be kind to yourself through exercise, what you eat, your thoughts, etc.

13. God wired you in a specific way. It’s ok to not be good at things, that’s what your network is for.

14. Hard work pays off every time. End of conversation. Work hard towards your dreams and goals. You are not entitled to anything.

15. In romantic relationships, demand the best. You are worth it and you will get what you demand. Never ever feel bad for having high standards. No matter how far you live, how much money you have, or what you do, your partner will always show you what you mean to them…. believe them. If they aren’t making the effort to show you that you mean the most to them, find someone who will.

16. The biggest things come from taking risks. Whether it’s great results or even just a learning moment, it’s so worth it.

17. Every person is fighting their own battles and if we were open and honest about those, we could probably relate on a deeper lever. Be kind, always.

18. If someone is constantly steeling your energy, it’s ok to step away kindly.

19. You are more than one event or mistake. It’s ok to admit you are wrong and to grow from it. Apologizing can be super power if you really mean it.

20. You don’t have to agree with everything someone says to be nice to them. It’s ok to disagree and still respect people, I promise.

21. Always make time to spot by the elderly. You never know when the last time you will see them will be!

22. You don’t have to talk to someone everyday to be a true friend. My friends are out there making moves, but I know that when we do get to talk it will be extraordinarily filled with love and grace like we didn’t skip a beat.

23. It’s ok for your dreams or passions to change as you change and grow.

24. Just because you assume something, doesn’t mean it’s right. Always try everything once. Eat the food, go to a new city, date the boy.

25. Empowered women, empower others. It’s true what they say, you can fix another woman’s crown without telling the world it was crooked.

26. Conflict resolution doesn’t have to be bad. Honestly, some of the biggest break though can come through approaching conflict respectfully.

27. Nobody cares if you can’t dance or what you’re wearing or who you’re with. Wear the Tupac shirt, dance in the middle of the store if your jam comes on, and be with those who you truly care about.

28. Never go on a road trip without a good playlist and a over abundance of gas station snacks. The times in the car will be just as fun as those at the destination.

29. Always over celebrate people and accomplishments. It makes for good stories and a blessed life.

Understanding Anxiety.

Let me start this off by saying that I know there isn’t a “normal” day or a “normal” human because we live in America where we are free to just be, BUT for the purpose of writing this, let me tell you that a “normal” day with anxiety is no joke.

My husband and I are complete opposites in so many areas of life- personality traits, what we prioritize in life, and even the sports teams we root for. With that being said, explaining how I was feeling and what struggling with an anxiety disorder was like to him was terribly hard. Now, let me say that he loves me so much and he would do anything for me, but this is something we have had to really show grace walking through together.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that 18% or 40 million people experience an anxiety disorder in any given year.

40 million people? That’s a whole lot! So why is it so hard to explain or why is it not even talked about for that matter? It’s hard because there is such a stigma about it. If you have one, you are not alone friends! Not at all. And it’s also so important to remember that that are so many forms of anxiety. SO MANY. i actually googled it and this is what came up- Post-traumatic stress disorder, specific phobias, obsessive- compulsive disorder, General anxiety disorder, separation disorder, panic disorders and attacks, and more.

Eric and I have done a lot of research. We have found what helps me, what triggers me, when he should help, when I just need my space. All. The. Things. Trial, error, and communication, Friends.

While I don’t want to just constantly talk about anxiety or make it Who I am because I promise I am so much more than this, but I do want to be informed. I honestly am not good at explaining certain scientific things without confusing people or getting weirdly emotional, so here is one of my favorite sites that I direct people to when they ask:

https://adaa.org

Now, to my closest people, I want to help them understand on a more emotional level. I never want people to feel pushed away because of lack of knowledge. So here are some helpful tips that I share with my friends (note, these aren’t brand new ideas, just ones that have helped me, there are so many phenomenal articles out there that probably explain it better than I):

1. It feels like you’re living in looming danger. That sounds even stupid to type out, so you’re probably thinking “ok, you’re dramatic”. Even when i was first trying to understand it for myself, I thought the same thing. A phone call, conversations, crowd, meeting new people, a person that reminds us of an incident, or really anything can bring it on. Walking through your day, you feel like you’re always having to protect yourself and so much energy is taken from constantly thinking about that. To the “normal” brain, danger is no where in sight, but to someone suffering with an anxiety disorder can feel the need to be on edge even if it doesn’t line up with reality.

2. It’s not just worrying. Man, it seems like the word “anxiety” gets used so much anymore. To explain feelings of a first date, flying, interview, important game, really anything that is a big, scary, life event. When people say this they mean that they are experiencing a fear of an unknown or important situation, which is a completely rational feeling. The difference between what they mean and what the word actually means to some one with a disorder is that their feeling goes away. But having a disorder is completely different, it takes a rational worry and turn it into something uncontrollable. Before being educated, My husband used to say things like “calm down” or “you’re just getting worked up over nothing”. Now while that may seem true, there is no turn off.

3. Thoughts can have so much power and can be crippling, even if they are unrealistic. I’m telling you, this is the hardest to explain. Even though these thoughts can seem unrealistic, they can still affect and stop your day in its tracks. A couple of examples: if two people go out to eat without you, they hate you. If someone doesn’t comment “thank you” on your Facebook birthday wish, they don’t want to be friends. If your boss takes the time to help your coworker, you should probably quit. If you said something weird like “you too” to a comment that it wouldn’t make sense to, they are laughing at you as you are away. If someone cancels on you, they think you’re the worst. All ridiculous, yet still can completely control you. Again, I understand how ridiculous this sounds, I am even struggling to type this without wondering what you are all thinking of me.

4. PTSD Is only for those who have served this county. This is so far off it’s not even funny. While that is true that many soldiers do suffer from that, it can also be triggered by big events or life changes. Anyone can struggle with this and anything can trigger it. Even in our chats with our Foster care agent, she talks about how they will come with some sort of PTSD. Heck, Spongebob may be the trigger because they saw Dad hit Mom during it. Or it could remind them of that, You honestly never know.

5. Panic attacks should be taken seriously even if you don’t understand them. They can feel life taking, literally. You can feel like you are about to drown or that you can’t breathe. My advice is to try to understand or relate to the way they are feeling when it is happening. Help them understand they are not alone in their thoughts. They aren’t “crazy”, something in their body is truly happening. DO NOT DISMISS THEM.

6. Anxiety does not make me less of a Christian. I often hear this or also “just pray about it”. Trust me, I have struggled through this. Why do I loath situations that most people find life giving- like hanging out in certain crowds. I don’t believe that me struggling with anxiety is a sin or implies that I have a broken faith. It doesn’t mean that I doubt the power of God or that I don’t talk to him daily. I promise the Gospel is everything to me and I rely on him in all things. He has made me as strong as I am. It’s real, I love the big man. If anything, I believe it even more that I am just a small human and have a HUGE need for his strength.

7. I do not mean to push you away or seem distant or not want to be your friend. Listen, people who understand or try to understand and love me anyways are seriously so priceless. I wouldn’t trade the friends who get it for literally anything.

8. We are “over emotional”, but that’s not a bad thing. I will tell you right now, the friends I have met that are living with anxiety are some of my most caring and thoughtful relationships. We feel everything, EVERYTHING. We never in a million years want anyone to feel the way we do or hurt in the slightest way.

9. Just because we “didn’t use to be like this”, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Friends, this is something that can be triggered and developed over time. You can ask anyone who has known me my entire life, I was the outgoing, always down for a good time, and the more the merrier type of friend. This isn’t fake and it isn’t something to be skeptical of. Trust us, we wish it was like it used to be.

It’s a real thing my friends and it can come in so many forms. With so many in our country living with anxiety, I think it’s so important to educate yourself so that maybe you can help someone you love or even yourself. Love on your people, empathize with them, just let them know you are in there corner, I promise it will be worth it.

FAQ: Fostering to Adopt!

Since we have decided to tell everyone our big news about beginning the foster care process, there have been so many questions. Honestly, so did we (and still do), so it is completely understandable.

Fall this year is a little different around here. Fall brings new, different, fresh beginnings and I can full heatedly say it has a new, overwhelming meaning this time. Life has been busy getting ready for change. A change that we can prepare for certain things, yet have to fully rely on God for the rest. It has been scary, stressful, time consuming, yet peaceful. SO. MUCH. PEACE.

Q: WHAT THE?

A: I know, I know, I KNOW!  I sound a little crazy throwing this all on you, but this is truly this is a HARD calling for us, so obvious that there was no missing it. We believe this is not about us, but ultimately about a kid who needs to be loved BIG in a safe place!

Q: Are you struggling with Pregnancy?

A: We know you’re all thinking it, mainly because so many people have asked us or family members. Nope, notta, zippo. This is not even the slightest reason why we are choosing to go this route. For us, this is by no means the second best option. We “plan” (lololol) to continue to grow our family in whatever way God sees fit. We hope that means someday getting to experience all the joys that come with being a birth parent! For now, this is where our hearts feel at home and needed.

Q: WHY THE?

A: Well, one of my favorite books tells me I am adopted aka the bible folks. I honestly think that by loving on these kids, we are taking a stand against injustice for the poor, the weak, and the hurting. Although we have so many questions still, by shining a light on these sweet babes, we are truly just loving on Jesus that much more. Seriously, we have seen Jesus show up so much through this, and not just that but it forces us to draw in super close and trust him in a huge way. It has been WILD.

Q: Who the?

A: Ok, so this was one of the weirdest things we have done through out our entire life. They give you a list of things to check of behaviors or characteristics that you will or will not accept in your home. Now, let me start by saying it brought on a ton of guilt. Like I should accept and be able to love on everyone, right? We prayed so hard, and I mean SO HARD over this. Then we have talked to people and prayed some more. Here is the thing, God designed Eric and I in a very specific way. He made us good at things and made us not be able to understand other things. With that being said, it has lifted so much weight off our hearts by understanding that has so much to do with the children we can bring into our home and still be the best people for them. We are accepting little’s, 5 and under. At this time, we are only looking to foster one at a time, but if things change, we will keep you updated! There are a ton of other little things, but that is the most basic explanation I can write without being here an hour.

Q: What if you get attached?

A: Ok, so best scenario: The Family is reconciled through HIS work and will. Second best scenario: the first babe we get lucky enough to bring into our home gets to stay with us forever. To be frank though, that may not happen. A child may get taken away, not because anything we have done or anything they have done, but because the state (really the big guy upstairs) feels that there is a better place for him or her.  To answer the question,  I honestly KNOW I will get attached, I am a human. If I am being even more honest, I  think that it will be so hard for me to work through. BUT, I also believe that these kids deserve to have someone get attached. Ya feel? They deserve to be so cared about that if anything does happen, they will be missed. I know it may seem like a strange concept to grasp because so many here are so loved by their family, but not every kid gets that.

Q: When the?

A: We are hoping to finish our certification process by the end of November. This means we will have our 36 hours of training, well check, physicals, vet checks, fire inspection, and more done. Once everything is done, we send it into the state to get approved. Once they approve us, we wait for a little in need!

Q: What does that mean for me?

A: For you? We need our people, the entire village, to jump on board with this. We need prayers, tons and tons of prayers. For us to not lose faith during the certification process, for all the kiddos in the foster system, for us preparing our home, for our organization we are working with, for our families, for us figuring out this parenting thing, and literally everything else. We need you to embrace this child like you would if we were the birth parents. You all know you are the real MVP’s with everything in our lives, let this be no different because they are part of our family!

If you have questions, please please PLEASE don’t be afraid to ask us. Odds are, we have either asked it before or probably are thinking it ourselves!

5 Everyday Steps to Healthier Skin

“Ugh, my face likes to act like it’s 16 again” or “I have to wear so much makeup because I have to cover whatever is going on on my face” or my personal favorite “I just don’t have as nice of skin as you to be able to wear a powder”

Being in the beauty industry, I hear it all! I’m not kidding. I hear about how a DIY hair cut that they saw on YouTube once, their favorite makeup bloggers skin routine, and how box color they slapped on their hair all went terribly wrong.

One of the top things I get asked about on a regular basis is acne and how to get rid of it. Friends, acne can stem from many unexpected causes, but I am here to string together a few things that could make all the difference for you that also have nothing to do with your skin care products.

1. Wash your pillow case– If you are a victim of your skin breaking out over and over again, it would be smart to wash your pillow one to two times a week. I know that seems excessive, but your pillow can be a harbor to residual makeup, bacteria, dirt, and oil.

2. Check your Detergents- Speaking of washing your pillow, if you have sensitive skin, you should be super cautious of what detergents you are using. Along with so many other harmful things, most detergents have artificial fragrances in them that are made up of a plethora of chemicals that manufacturers don’t even have to claim on the ingredients. Search for a Fragrance- free or toxin free laundry soap. And don’t even get me started on dryer sheets, people. Google “Are dryer sheets bad for you” and read a couple of the millions of articles that come up.

My Favorite chemical free detergent:

++ Thieves Laundry Soap ++

(For any help Information on ordering, contact me or follow this link Here)

With a plant-based formula, Thieves® Laundry Soap gently and naturally washes your clothes, leaving them truly clean without any chemical or synthetic residue. Natural enzymes and powerful essential oils add to the formula’s strength, leaving your clothes fresh and clean with a light citrus scent.

Primary Benefits

-The plant-based formula is free from SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), dyes, petrochemicals, formaldehyde, phosphates, synthetic perfume, and optical brighteners

– Concentrated formula, so budget friendly- will handle approximately 64 loads with just 32 fluid ounces.

Next, let’s tackle what to replace those toxin-laden dryer sheets with!

++ Dryer Balls ++

Why use dryer balls?

-Durable: Works great with heavy loads of blankets and towels.

-Eco-and-people friendly: No more harsh chemicals from traditional dryer sheets released into the air or left on clothing to irritate skin.

-Fresher laundry: Absorbs and releases moisture evenly to reduce wrinkles and static cling.

-Budget-smart: No more recurring costs for fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

-Add 3 – 6 drops of your favorite Young Living essential oil (we recommend Lavender) to one of the four dryer balls.

Find some dryer balls Here

3. Clean your makeup brushes– Friends, I am going to get real for a second because I love ya. While doing makeup consultations for my brides or lashes for my clients, I am appalled to hear how long people go without cleaning their makeup brushes. Months and years. Gah, I can’t make this up. Can you imaging the bacteria that is manifesting in the bristles of those brushes. No wonder your skin care routine isn’t working! It’s disgusting. Yuck. Ladies, WASH YO BRUSHES.

My favorite Brush Cleaner Recipe:

(For any help Information on ordering, contact me or follow this link Here)

(1) 1 TSP of Young Living Copaiba Vanilla Shampoo

(2) 1 TSP of Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap

(3) 4 drops of Tea Tree because of its anti-fungal properties

(4) or 4 Drops of your favorite oil: Grapefruit for the win!

How to Clean Brushes:

Place the Copaiba Vanilla Shampoo, non-scented Castile soap and essential oils in a small container of your choice. Gently swirl the bristles of the brush in your palm or on a brush cleaning mat like shown in this graphic. Use your fingers to gently rub the makeup residue off of the brushes. Gently reshape the bristles pack into place and allow to dry on a clean, dry cloth overnight.

4. Clean your phone- Ok, this may seem like a no brainer, but when is the last time you cleaned your phone. Think of all of the things you touch outside of your home daily and of all the bacteria and oil those things have on them from other people touching them as well. Or, think of all the places you set your phone daily. AND THEN IT TOUCHES YOUR FACE. OK, I got a little worked up there. But, in all reality, cleaning your face isn’t enough. Spray a cloth with your favorite cleaning spray and wipe that screen down.

My favorite Cleaning Spray:

Thieves House Hold Cleaner

(For any help Information on ordering, contact me or follow this link Here)

– budget friendly, ultra concentrated formula

– multipurpose- we use this one bottle to Mix every single cleaner in our home. Wood floors, counter tops, glass and mirrors, table top, bath tubs, tiles, everything thing.

– formulated with the power of Young Living’s Thieves blend without the dangerous synthetic ingredients.

– safe for everyone, including kids and pets.

5. Take care of your gut– Have you ever eaten out at a fast food restaurant and instantly regretted it. Most of these foods are filled with sugars, sodium, and a high glycemic index, which is bad for both wrinkles and acne. I’ve heard it said before that “whatever is happening on the outside of your skin is a direct result of what is happening on the inside”. The more you take care of your gut and body, the better you skin will look and feel. Check out this article Here to see what foods are great for your skin!

I hope these every day tips and tricks can benefit you and your beautiful skin!

Happy Monday, Beauties!

-Bri

An Open Letter To My Friends Who Have Changed.

To my friends who have changed,

I can remember the day we met like it was yesterday. I can remember the very spot, who I was with, and why I was there. I can remember how we instantly connected, like we had known each other for years. I can remember the shenanigans we would get ourselves into, with out even thinking twice about it. Your friendship was second nature.

You were there for the stupid boys,

the over abundance of makeup

the awkward hair cuts,

the weird eyebrows,

the sporting events,

the dances,

the sleepovers,

the high school drama,

the ridiculous amounts of kiss pictures,

the crazy stories,

the happy,

the sad,

the good,

the bad,

and the ugly.

You were there for every single thing.

But then something changed.

We graduated, moved, got married, got new jobs, got new friends, got pregnant …we changed. Things are SO different than they were, you aren’t physically here for everything. It is so weird to not be able to see you every single day, not being able to connect with you on every minuscule detail.

Honestly though, it’s not like I didn’t see this coming. This is all a part of life, right? I can’t be mad, this is how things go. People always said that things will never be like they were in high school.

The thing I never saw coming though, was that we could be so different, yet would become even closer than before. Our relationship has matured beyond their years to create an unbreakable bond. A bond that offers more grace, more love, better advice, more intentionality- how a true friendship is meant to be. I am forever grateful for that because I know the effort that has to go into that, yet you make it seem so effortless.

So cheers to you, friend- for you are sweeter than a fine wine, better than an age whiskey, or more comfortable than a worn in pair of jeans. Thank you for embracing all the change and continuing to love me big.

Xo,

Your friend that you are never getting rid of.

We’re Expecting…

I can remember it like it was still happening, like I am in that exact moment as we speak. Sitting in the Detroit airport, on the floor, hair up in a messy pony, ugly crying as I expressed my soul to my husband.

Now, let me preface this story by saying that I am a firm believer in that you are put into situations for certain reasons. God has thorough prepped you for whatever you may be going through, no matter if you believe it or not. And let me tell you, if you lean more into the “not” side of believing, I promise that if you let go of and trust him a tiny bit, he will blow you out of the water with what strength he has. Seriously though, if you’re anything like me, you like to control things and think you have the power to change them yourself. But if just for a second, you have a little faith and take the step off the edge (that big, scary, unknown edge), you will soar to places far more amazing than anything you could have imagined. If you don’t read past this sentence, I want you to remember that “you got this, boo”.

Friends, if you know my story, you know that I moved to a town that I personally would have never imagined myself living in….Ever. Not that there is anything wrong with this little town, it actually has a lot of character if you look hard enough. But still, for whatever reason, I had a really hard time adjusting, and still do. My anxiety gets the best of me on more days than I would like to admit because I am always worrying about everything that comes with it.

“Van Wert? Man God, why here, why this, why now?” This phrase, this blasted phrase. I wish I could tell you that I have never shouted this in rage, while shaking my fits at Homeboy upstairs, but I am a believer in vulnerability if you want to make sounding friendships, so I can’t lie. Every single day, literally this has run through my head every single day since I moved. Listen, I tried, I tried SO HARD getting involved in so much, like everything, but my heart never felt like it was not being used in the ways it could be. I ran every idea of what I could bring new to the table by all my friends. If you were one of my lovely clients, you were probably sick of me telling you that I just haven’t found my spot here, sorry about that. I have a very small group of friends, which I am not used to, that I feel comfortable calling up to hang out. I seem to have struggled searching for more that I haven’t been able to love on people like I should have. But, man the friends I have made, THEY ARE THE BEST. They have laughed, cried, hurt, rejoiced, and every other emotion that comes with trying to find yourself with me in such a beautiful way. They have offered me SO much grace. Two of those being our friends, Reagan and Kyle.

Reagan and I clicked instantly when we met. We got to know each other more through doing hair for weddings together and this oily business (#BLESSIT). Her and Kyle have always gone out of their way when we were with them to make us feel welcomed and loved so hard, actually their entire group of friends did for that matter. I don’t even think they know just how much that meant to Eric and I. Through their friendships, we have met so so many people including their friends and family. What a blessing that has been! More specifically, I met one of her Aunts. She would come get her hair done by Reagan and we would always small talk about how life and work were going. Reagan’s Aunt is a social worker and would snag my heart every time we talked (as much as she honestly could while staying compliant), opening up my eyes for the need right here in our community.

So, there I am, sobbing. Friends, I am the most closed up person ever, so this was so strange. Being crazy intentional with my husband like no one else was there, all while being surrounded by so many people. I can’t 100% speak for the people around us, but I can imagine that they were thinking I was one brick shy of a load. Although, I couldn’t even take my eyes off my husband to look at their expression, so this is just a complete guess.

And then, it just poured out. “Bub, I want to foster to adopt”.

YUPP, there it was. It was the weirdest thing. I hadn’t been thinking about it around that time or even reading anything either, but for whatever reason, I just couldn’t control my emotions about it like I was invested and planed this for months. All my feelings came pouring out of my mouth that I had only had the courage to share bits and pieces about to him before.  Earlier Conversations that didn’t have the strength to become anything because I never gave it the gusto it deserved. I can now look back to see that it was God’s way of preparing Eric for this conversation, this one right here, because let me tell you folks, it got his attention. He is a thinker, a question asker, a processor, a planner… not a jump in feet first kinda person like myself.

I think I have always believed that I would adopt, I don’t know why, but I always had a heart for it. Never in a million years did I think it would be my first, nor did I ever expect it to be from the United States for whatever unknown reason. But God is funny, and boy, does he know everything will end up perfect.

Where were we flying to that day, you ask? Well, to two of our best friends wedding. That may seem like an unnecessary detail of the story, but hold the phone for a second. At this wedding, we met this crazy bearded man. I’m not kidding this guy was hilarious. He wasn’t at out table, nor did we know him before, but for whatever reason he came across the party to come chat with just Eric and I. Guess what this guy does? He works for the Foster program in another county and was in the process of becoming a foster family himself. He was telling us facts and we were pouring our hearts to this random guy at a wedding in another country. Crazy or divine intervention? I’ll let you decide, but all three of us totally believed that God had his hand over this conversation. I truly believe that this was supposed to happen and why closed-up-me talked to Eric on a serious level about it just a day before in the most unpractical place.

It’s now so clear to why Eric went through countless interviews until he found the right job, why we made certain friends, and worked certain places. Why God said “no” to so many things and opened up so many “unwanted” doors. God is good, my friends, so so good.

So y’all, Meet the Fishpaw’s, a crazy family of over intentional people embracing God’s calling.

So, what the heck does that mean? Over the next several weeks, we will be embarking on a journey full of training, lots of emotions, and home visits to see if we are a good fit and, if in his will, to ultimately leads us to our first babe. Prayers are not only welcomed, but also needed! There will be more upcoming posts to keep everyone updated about the process! Read here about the organization we are working with in the process!

FRIENDS, ask us all the questions! I know there are tons because we have tons. I will do another post to answer everything I possibly can! We want to be as transparent as possible through all of this to maybe, just maybe help the world to see a need right here in our communities!

xo,

BFish

Family Traditions

Yall, it’s APPLESAUCE DAY! Let’s stinking #homestead.

I love learning things from my mom, who learned things from her mom, who probably learned from her mom. I’m telling you, although this isn’t the most glamorous day it is such a beautiful thing.

I honestly find so much pride in myself when I can make something, especially something that is so essential for human survival- food. I like to imagine my grandma’s making it for their family while the kid version of mom and dad begging to help crank the Victorio Strainer. When we sit down for dinner and my husband says “this applesauce is delicious”, it mean more to me than any average dish I may make. No, this, this is something more. It’s a part of who I am. I can remember eating it when we were kids and arguing who was going to get the center that was still frozen. It takes me back to my family being around our big kitchen table in my parents county home. It takes me take to times I would never trade for anything, to running around outside until mom called us in for dinner, and to all the innocence that comes with that. So, as weird at it sounds, this Friends is what I am about.

If you haven’t walked through the process of making your own applesauce, I am here to tell you that you’re going to need to roll up your sleeves for this one. Kids, a little hard work never killed anyone, it actually is something to be proud of.

Today, I got up and picked four laundry baskets full of apples from our trees. FOUR FREAKING LAUNDRY BASKETS. It was so hot and humid today also. But this is one of my favorite parts of my home. Inspecting them and picking the ones that I believes would be the best there was. I then drove to my parents house to work on this with my mom. That is also something that is so special to me, time with mom. I hate to think of it, but I know I won’t get this forever. Maybe because I get busy with kids, maybe because we live too far, maybe because she isn’t able anymore, no matter what it is, it makes me so sad to even try an imagine it without her. So, I will take advantage of this as long as I possibly can.

Now, my family does it maybe differently than others. If you’re reading this and you love making applesauce, I am sure yours is amazing as well. First things first, wash those apples. You can use whatever cleaner or water you prefer, I personally suggest the Thieves Vegetable and Fruit Soak. It’s ah-maze-ing, seriously. I just ran out and my Essential Rewards order can’t get here soon enough.

We move on to using the ol’ Apple slicer. This is a step that some people don’t find necessary, but we have always done it that way. We like to cut the brown or bruised parts out along with the cores. To get ahead of the game, we are Apple cutting machines. We like to make so we have at least 2 pots full, so DEM SOME APPLES. Putting them in water until they are ready to cook will help them not get brown as quickly.

Then, throw those bad boys into a pot with water covering just the bottom to prevent them from sticking and burning. Medium-ish heat, like 7-8 on our stove, and stir occasionally. You will know they are done when you can stir them easily and they are a little mushy. Yes, that is the scientific term.

You’re about half way done, folks. Done with the hard stuff at least! Whoop whoop. This next step, you’re going to need that special tool I was talking about earlier called a Victorio Strainer. You can get one almost like ours Here. Also, make sure you have two bowls, one to catch that beloved sauce and one to catch the skins, like in the picture below. All you have to do is pour the apples from your pot on the stove into the top funnel, turn the arm, and help push the apples into the strainer with the red musher (because I don’t know he real name).

Smooth sailing now, just pour in a bigger bin to store until you’re ready to put it in the containers and add sugar (if you want to) for taste. If so, I would personally do it while it is still hot because it dissolves quicker. Things to keep in mind- you can always add more later and it gets sweeter over time in the freezer.

Once you’re happy with he taste, add it to your choice of containers. While adding the apple sauce, remember to leave room for them to expand when they freeze. We like to use mostly quarts and pints. Like these Here. Make sure to seal them tight with as little of air as possible. Then, just store in a freezer!

And you’re in business friends. Time well spent and great food! Nothing better than that!

What is a family tradition you love?