Inspiration

Make it Happen – My take on opportunity building

March 3, 2015

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” - Milton Berle

The Doors of Le Marais in Paris

I think this is the story of my life honestly.

Creating doors where there are none.

This thought process is exactly what got me blogging, youtubing, creating my own work in general.

I figured if there wasn’t any opportunity around then I would have to make it happen.  For me it’s acting. The market that I’m in is not as saturated as L.A. , Chicago or N.Y. Even though there isn’t a lot going on here in I think there is a growing independent film community of actors, writers, producers that are trying to make it happen for themselves. So that is really encouraging.

I used to actually get annoyed by this quality in myself. I know, I know…most people don’t annoy themselves. But believe me I thought it was a curse for a long time. This need to constantly create or express myself. I even think that if I lived in a place full of opportunities I would be COMPELLED to make my own way…because it would be MY OWN WAY. And all the while I would be doubting myself. It’s a strange paradox really to be compelled to build doors and at the same time question yourself.

But over time I’ve slowly begun to accept and even like the fact that I have this quality. I’ve learned to accept that it’s not a curse. It’s the way that God made me. I put a lot of pressure on myself to “make it happen” but I am trying to balance the idea that God is the one that started this work in me and that He has to be the one to finish it.

Many times when you are among the first to build a door it’s hard, scary, and full of challenges. But for those that come behind you it gets easier and easier. And in the end you get to be a huge part of building that really nice house (business, philosophy, non-for-profit) that inspires people and communities for a long time.

Maybe you are trying to write a book, or create a website or start a business? Maybe you feel alone and unsure of what the next steps are. But it’s important to see the doors and steps that are right in front of you. I wish to God in heaven that I could see the whole picture before I started something. I wanted the reassurance that things would be successful before I started. But that’s just not how things work.

It doesn’t give opportunity to grow your faith and trust God.

Not knowing the end but starting when He nudges you to start is the beginning of a faith walk. So while you are building whatever it is that you are trying to make happen you are simultaneously building your faith. While your faith is being challenged and built I believe that He is shaping the character that you will need in order to continue to walk through more and more amazing doors in your life.

What are you building now that seems really hard? What have you found inspiring to help you make it happen? Why don’t you share that by linking up!

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Crafts

Easy Asparagus Recipe

February 27, 2015

I don’t know about your kids but my kids have to be tricked into eating their vegges.

I take that back.

I wouldn’t say “tricked” I would say “manipulated”.

Wait. What?

See my kids have a TON of allergies and the foods they can eat is very limited. Many times it breaks my heart to have to say no to treats at birthday parties or events because the items have eggs and nuts or other things that could send my kids to the hospital. On top of it we can’t make dishes with too many extra ingredients unless they are whole foods that I know won’t spark an allergic reaction.

I’ve actually cried over this. I know it sounds silly. But we want our kids to be able to experience the joys that other kids get to and it’s hard when they can’t.

When I give people the list of things that my kids are allergic to they look at me wide eyed and ask me the following: “Well what do you feed them then?”

Well I feed them food. Like fruits and vegetables, lean meats (no shellfish for one and no fish for the other, the third one loves shrimp.) and certain grains. I used to have panic attacks at every meal time. It was rough for your girl for a while there. But after a while I started to get things worked out.

(Side note: For some reason the kids can have McDonald’s without a problem. hmmmm.)

As a result I try to make simple things a little bit more exciting for my little munchkinos. While going through the aisles at Costco (they always have something new and exciting to try.) I saw some pretty green things in their huge refridgerator while I was getting a box of spinach.

I looked closer. Asparagus.

I wonder if the kids would eat this?

I bought the little green trees and brought them home.

The next day I opened the crisper and thought to myself how in the world could I make these tasty. I looked up some recipes and found a recipe with prosciutto and asparagus. I didn’t have anything that fancy on hand. I looked in another draw in the fridge and found…

Turkey bacon!

YEAH! Turkey bacon makes everything better.

So that is how this easy asparagus recipe was born. I wouldn’t call it a recipe though. Maybe just an excuse to put something green and bacon-ey in front of kids to manipulate them into eating something green.

Anyway. I hope you like this super easy, allergy free, totally manipulative way to feed your kids more green stuff.

Have a great day!

Inspired Questions: What are someways you manipulate your kids into eating more green stuff?

God Bless

Humor, Mommy Life

The Truth About Mom Sleep Deprivation

February 23, 2015

As you know, being a mom can result in a lot of awesomeness with butterfly kisses, and the wonderment of living childhood out with your little ones. It can also bring on major bouts of sleep deprivation and tiredness.

I was feeling totally exhausted the other day and I didn’t have the energy to think about what I wanted to make a video on. I diagnosed myself with MSDS. Mom Sleep Deprivation Syndrome.

But then I was like:

Dija! Make a video on feeling sleepy!

And I was like:

Dija, that’s why I like you. You are such a genius. A sleepy one but a genius indeed.

And then I was like:

Remember that weird info-graphic you saw on Nick Mom’s website about sleep?

And then I responded:

Yeah sure I do.

Then I was like:

Make a video about sleep inspired by that info-graphic.

And then this video happened…

And that ladies and gentlemen is my creative process for this week’s video!

Mom Sleep deprivation does weird things to you.

get inspired link up

Guess what? I’m going to still allow for people to link up here if they want to but I think it would be easier for people just to use the hashtag #getinspired and share whatever has inspired them this week. Don’t forget to tag me!

Twitter: @inspiredindy

IG: @theinspiredcafe

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for more inspiration directly to your mailbox!

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Crafts, DIY fashion

How to Make an easy Lace Peter Pan Collar Necklace

February 23, 2015

Peter Pan collars give a classy and lady like feel to any outfit. Recently this trend has come back in a unique way. I’ve always loved the look of peter pan collars and I’ve been loving the all of the tutorials for making peter pan necklaces.

Peter pan collar necklaces are awesome for so many reason. Most of all because you can choose to accessorize a simple t-shirt easily and remove them just as easily.

I was recently inspired to make when when I was trying to how I could reuse some lace from another top I had. This is a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a Lace Peter Pan Collar. I hope you like it!

Materials:

Old Lace from a shirt I got from goodwill but you can buy lace at your local fabric store
needle and thread
scissors
Pearl embellishments from local craft store
Tacky Glue
Ribbon
felt

I tried to be as clear as I could with the instructions for this peter pan collar necklace but please feel free to comment below with any questions. I got all of my materials from either Joanne’s Fabric Store or Micheal’s.

Please subscribe and share if you like the video!

Humor, Mommy Life

Introducing the stay at home mom app

February 22, 2015

So I was talking with my friend the other day about the fact that when you go to work every day you have people giving you accolades or high fives for a job well done. In fact, she told me how at her sales job they were once rewarded with an all day spa treatment for meeting sales goals.

WHAT?

That’s sounds marvelous right now while I sit at home taking care of three sick kids.

When you are a stay at home mom…well there’s no one there to tell you that you did a good job changing that diaper or or making that nutritious meal. No one to marvel at how you cleaned that toilet or how you folded the laundry. You just kind of have to learn to cheer yourself on.

Theory: Maybe social media was really invented by a bunch of stay at home moms who wanted to connect with other people and were desperate for someone to just once tell them that they did a good job getting that poop stain out of her favorite blouse.

I also was inspired by another friend who is very positive all time and how he should have his own app that shares positive vibes on demand. These two inspirations combined resulted in me thinking what if there was a s.a.h.m app where moms could use it whenever they feel like they need a pick me up when they are feeling especially postpartumish, unappreciated, or sleep-deprived.

You know our messy buns aren’t done  just to be stylish. We don’t wear kimonos because they’re in style now.

We need encouragement as moms on this journey of raising our little ones. I came to the conclusion that whether or not I get Shark Tank to fund this app, we need to be this app for each other.

By the way…in case no one has told you this today…

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Hope you enjoyed a little dose of stay at home mom humor!

Link up your inspiring post here!

 

Beauty, Lifestyle

Shea Moisture Makeup Review and Tutorial

February 20, 2015

shea moisture cosmetics theinspiredcafe.com
shea moisture cosmetics theinspiredcafe.com
I’m so excited to share with you that one of my favorite companies has released a cosmetics line! I’m already a huge fan of their hair products and I had high expectations going into this review.
Thankfully one of my good friends told me to check it out and requested I do a review on it. So I took myself over to Target and found Shea Moisture’s new cosmetics line. In this Shea Moisture Makeup review video I share my thoughts on the products, the packaging and ingredients. Here is the video for the Shea Moisture makeup review I did of the products.

shea moisture cosmetics theinspiredcafe.com
Shea Moisture’s products have:

  • No Parabens
  • No Phthalates
  • No Paraffin
  • No Formaldehyde
  • No Propylene Glycol
  • No Mineral Oil
  • No Synthetic Fragrance
  • No Petrolatum
  • No Synthetic Color
  • No DEA
  • No Animal Testing

Pretty sweet, huh?

Shea moisture makeup review

First of all I really liked the packaging of the products. They were very beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. That is a big in for me! The products did not have any type of perfumey smell which I really appreciate. My skin and nose are pretty sensitive so I welcome that lack of fragrance. The colors were very soft and beautiful.

Lip Gloss

  • Went on very smooth and the color was beautiful with my skin tone.
  • After using the brush for a while it did seem to get a little gloppy.
  • But I’m sure this can be remedied with consistent cleaning.

Powder

  •  Nice overall feel.
  • It did the job of removing shine without breaking me out.
  • Did not make my skin dry out at all. I have naturally dry skin so if you have oily skin you might have a different thought about it.

Eye Shadow

  • Was true to color and even had a little bit of an iridescent look to it when it was applied.
  • I really liked the color with my skin tone
  • I feel like I should have purchased the cases to hold the eye shadow

Mascara 

  • Did not stand out to me as being better than any other mascara.
  • It did have an interesting shape to allow for more defined application to the lashes.
  • The product did not irritate my sensitive eyes.

Lip Stick/Blush

  • This was my absolute favorite product of them all!
  • I loved the versatility of this product that you could apply it to your lips, cheeks and even eyes.
  • The color was beautiful. It offered just the right amount and could be darkened by applying more layers.
  • I also felt like I should have purchased a case for this product.

Even though I couldn’t say this product is 100% natural and organic I can say that it mostly is according to the ingredients. I could understand the majority of what was written on the back. I would definitely purchase this item again.

Want to know how I applied everything? Check out this easy makeup tutorial. And I mean easy because I’m not a makeup guru! lol!

Adventures in Allergies, Coffee Talk, Recipes

Spice Up Your Chai Tea

February 19, 2015

chai tea

Chai tea is a type of black tea created from a blend of various spices. There are many different types of Chai recipes that you can make. Chai Tea recipes date back thousands of years in India and was created with medicinal herbs intended for healing through the practice Ayurvedic Medicine. Maybe that’s why Chai Tea has been one of my favorite drinks for the past 12 years… literally.

And cause I’m half East Indian.

I have been drinking teas faithfully since I was a child. I would remember my mom (from Jamaica) creating different types of teas for our different ailments. Ginger tea for an upset stomach, mint tea…for an upset stomach or just because it was so delicious! She would grow mint leaves in her garden. We would just go pick them, wash them and boil them for some really awesome tea. Both my parents would enjoy tea the English way with boiled milk and black teas. When my grandparents from India came to visit we had tea time at 4pm every day.

Needless to say tea was a huge part of my life.

When I was in college I took a job as a barista. There I discovered the American version of Chai tea. I literally fell in love with it! In fact, when this guy I liked would come in I would give him a free cup of chai with a little vanilla and a muffin just because. Chai is pretty powerful.

That guy and I got married, had three babies and are celebrating our 13th anniversary this year.

I never was a fan of the chai tea bags and have always preferred the Oregon Chai from the box. That is until our friend Steve  changed my perspective!


I’m going to share with you Chai tea with a little twist!Boil water and steep your tea bag

1.fill the cup 2/3 of the way full
2.add sugar, stevia, or honey for your sweetener
3.add milk, almond milk, soy, whatever you like to fill up the remainder of the cup
4.sprinkle some cinnamon on top
5.stir and enjoy!

God Bless

I linked up at We are That Family

Inspiration

Finding Your Path – Working on a Dream

February 17, 2015

find your path

Working quietly on a dream…

I’ve been doing that for years. Thinking and dreaming of the day when something takes off. Sometimes an opportunity comes up and it’s absolutely wonderful. Sometimes when it passes I’m left wondering if I’m actually building anything. I wonder what I should be doing differently.

If I should be doing something differently.

Or if I should just continue the way that I’m going.

For the first time in my life I feel like I’m “on my path”. I spent a lot of my 20’s (probably all of it) wondering if I was living in the right direction. Wondering what my path was, or if I ever got on it, would I recognize it. I wondered why when I thought I saw my path it looked so narrow. It winded around through shady overgrown trees. Wild flowers lined the path. Crazy, colorful and unkempt. Rays of sunlight would peek through the trees lighting only parts of the path at a time.

But still I resisted it.

I was afraid of it I think.

Because it was so different from everyone else’s path. I just wanted to fit in with everyone else who seemed okay with getting a job and…joining the race. That race was on the wider path, that was paved, and had lot’s of people. It even had people on the sidelines who could cheer you on or give you a cold drink. Everyone knows what way to go and what the mile markers are on that path. The path has been run millions of times, there are check in points, satellite mapping, and people waiting for you at the finish line.

Not on my path. It was still dirt. It was worn down by the feet of the few willing to travel on that path, cut down the bush, pick the flowers. Smell them even.

But I kept getting drawn to that path over the years. I was eventually forced down that path when I decided to come home to take care of my three children who had a plethora of food allergies. I was forced on that path when I chose to homeschool until their allergies were less severe. I chose that path when I started using blogging and youtube as creative outlets.

Really I chose that path when I quit my engineering major and turned to my true love – theater.

But before that as a little girl I knew that I had something special inside of me that I wanted to express through story telling. I knew that I could touch the sky. I just knew that my life was going to be different.

Maybe the path chose me.

Today I’m not where I want to be but I finally know I’m on my path. That in itself is so comforting.

If you are working on finding your path you might be wondering how I discovered mine.

I discovered my calling after reading countless books, studying my personality type and studying the gifts and talents God gave me. I will admit I tried a lot of different things and I drove my husband crazy at times with my constant experimentation but I needed it to find myself.

It’s funny the long journeys some of us have to take to find ourselves.

I still struggle now wondering when things will take off and grow. I want to give up many times. But I’ve heard a saying that says right when you want to give up is when the blessing comes.

Here are somethings that I’ve been inspired by this week that I wanted to share with you.

This blog post by Erin who writes for Design for Mankind reminded me to look differently at our cold snowy days.

This podcast by Myleik Teele the creator of Curlbox reminded me that motivation is great but discipline is what makes motivation work.

This Blogging book byJoy Deangdeelert Cho from Oh Joy reminded me why I love blogging.

I hope that you guys Get Inspire(d) by checking these little nuggets out!

I’m thinking about discontinuing the weekly link up because it’s not really gaining more traction. I’m thinking it might be easier just to use instagram to post inspiring things. You can just hashtag #getinspired and tag me at @theinspiredcafe.

What do you think? Link up your inspirational post below.

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Inspiration, Mommy Life

The Butterfly Effect

February 12, 2015

Butterflies are some of the most beautiful creatures on this planet. Their life cycle is one of wonder and amazement. The metamorphosis from a squishy caterpillar to delicate and beautiful butterfly is a profound reflection of our internal growth process as well.

Earlier this week I was doing some writing and thinking about what motherhood does to women. How it changes us in so many ways and forces us to grow in all areas of our lives. I had learned about the main 4 stages of development was I was a child but I was drawn to RE researching what actually goes on inside of the cocoon. It has been more than several years since I’ve left Pittsfield Elementary School in Ypsilanti MI.

Man, the internet was just a baby back then!

So after some research on the google I found out some interesting facts:

butterfly stages gif

Stages of a Butterfly

  • The caterpillar is actually born with it’s wings and other adult body parts which remain dormant inside of it’s body because of juvenile hormones.
  • When the caterpillar is inside of the chrysalis it releases enzymes that devolves it’s tissues
  • Everything dissolves except things called discs which contain the blue print for it’s adult body
  • The caterpillar then rebuilds it’s new body until it becomes a butterfly

I was like WHAAAAAAATTTT!?

So like,  the catapillar has to be broken down completely to it’s basic parts before it can become a butterfly?

Deep right?

Much like that caterpillar which was born with what it needed to fully develop we are born with our gifts, talents and dreams. They can lay dormant inside of us until we are tested and broken down by certain things in our lives. If we choose to learn and grow from these life experiences we can find ourselves with wings. If we choose not to, then we will remain a pile of dissolved mush.

Not cute.

As moms we go through many many MANY changes. The process of being pregnant, giving birth, surviving infancy, toddlerhood, and the early school years will literally break you down at some points. The lack of sleep, the addition of worry, ear infections, tantrums, and discipline woes can cause you to tune into emotions you didn’t know existed. At the same time the cuddles, cooing, developmental growth, and smiles can take you to levels of love that you’ve never experienced before.

Motherhood is like being in that Chrysalis. Motherhood the beginning stages(when they are fully dependent on you) is for a season. I remember being so frustrated and discontent for years because I was always battling the desire to be creative and follow my dreams while having to be on 24/7 to take care of children. It took me a while to learn to embrace the season I was in. I was broken down in so many ways from my body to my perspectives on life. Everything about how I viewed life was dissolved completely down. I was forced to look at who I was at the core. My basic beliefs about myself and who I was were challenged in ways I would NEVER have imagined.

Today I am not who I used to be. My belief system has been matured, my perspectives have changed and my faith has grown. I am stronger, more focused and more sure of who I am at what my calling is because of that season of being “dissolved”.

I want you to be encouraged through this season of being “dissolved”. You might feel like a pile of caterpillar mush now but one day you will find yourself a beautiful butterfly.

I know.

Cheesy.

But true.

 

 

Be Fearless, Link up

Overcoming Fear – What are you Really Afraid of?

February 9, 2015

overcoming fear

Last week I posted a video on overcoming fear. All of those tactics are things that I’ve personally used and found them to be helpful. But I want to dive a little bit deeper into the heart of one of my own challenges with overcoming fear. To some of you this might be a silly thing to be afraid of, but it’s been bugging me for awhile now and I keep hitting a  block when I think about moving forward on this thing.

For a long time I’ve had this vision to interview other creative moms who were going after their passions and still doing the mama thing with joy. I’ve always enjoyed hearing other people’s stories and discovering thing thing that they are passionate about. I’ve always been curious about the way people go about pursuing their dreams and how they balance it with family life. However, I’ve always had this sense of anxiety come up inside of me when I think about actually conducting these interviews and I’ve never been able to put my finger on it.

This past week during a coaching session (I’m the one getting coached) I shared what I wanted to do and that I was scared. My coach’s response really convicted me. I realized that I needed to examine what in the world was making me feel this way. After some heavy thought I realized two things:

  1. This is an irrational fear
  2. This fear is really anxiety and I need to find out what I’m really afraid of.

So I began to mentally go through the process of getting the interview to see if I could identify where I was feeling anxious.

First I would need to research who I wanted to interview.

Okay no problem.

Then find their contact information.

Sure I can do that.

Contact them.

Okay, but I’m feeling a little anxious here.

Set the time and conduct the interview.

Okay I’m feeling all kinds of anxious right here.

Post and publicize the interview.

Woah, Nelly! I can’t even think this far! My anxiety level is really high now!

After reviewing the places in the process that caused my fear/anxiety level to rise, I saw that it started at the contact stage. Now I’m not afraid of talking to people I don’t know  in a casual setting but if it’s for a professional reason or I need to ask them for something…well then I start to get nervous and all sorts of things start going through my mind:

  • Are they going to get annoyed at me for asking?
  • Why would anyone want to be interviewed by me?
  • What if they say no?
  • What if they say yes?
  • How can I clearly present myself?

Enter Aha Moment!

I think this all comes down to clarity. I need to be clear on what my brand is, what I want, why I want it and how I can be a benefit to the person I’m trying to get the interview from. I think if I knew the answers to these questions I would feel more confident in my approach. I could let my passion for the topic shine through and hopefully inspire the person to join me for a quick interview. When I’m clear on my goal then I can get passionate. When I’m passionate then I feel confident. When I feel confident I won’t feel anxious.

My next thought was:

What if I got the interview? 

The questions that enter my mind aren’t what we would talk about, but all the other stuff that would have to be answered in order to do the interview.

  • What platform would be best? Blog, podcast, video?
  • How do I even do a podcast?
  • Which medium will be most effective for my audience?

I honestly don’t have an answer for these questions yet. Some ideas I’m throwing around is to ask the interviewee what they would prefer and figuring it out then. Or maybe finding a way to make it available all three ways every time.

Either way I’m pretty sure some of my hang ups are related to understanding the technologies for conducting the interview.

After going through this thought process I came to the conclusion that it’s not that I feel fearful but it’s that I feel like it’s not the right time to start. I need to do some work to lay a foundation before jumping into doing this project so I can feel confident about moving forward.

By taking myself to this process I realized that taking time to really examine your feelings behind your fears will allow you to get to the root of the issue and resolve the real problem. I don’t always get these “aha moments” but when I do I find that it relieves the blob of unidentified feelings that twist my stomach up in knots when I think about them. I’m glad that I went through this process with myself. I was kind of beating myself up for feeling afraid of something I know that I’m capable of doing. Now I know it’s a matter of preparation and timing in order to make this project a reality.

I hope that sharing some of my thought process helps you out in some way.

Now it’s your turn to share how you’ve overcome fear or how you are in the process of overcoming fear. Please feel free to share even if you are discovering that you have fear in certain areas. We all have stories to tell that can inspire someone else!

Thanks for stopping by and joining the link up!

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