Painted Spring Mason Jars

Hello! Happy Good Friday! What a blessed time of year! I am looking forward to celebrating my favorite holiday of the year! I was recently inspired by a project I found on Pinterest for painted mason jars. These are perfect for adding some spring decor to your home!

painted spring mason jars - theinspiredcafe.com
Materials:

  • chalkboard paint
  • sponge brushes
  • twine
  • acrylic craft paint
  • twine

painted spring mason jars - theinspiredcafe.com
Steps:

  • Paint the outside of the jars with the chalkboard paint. It acts like a primer for the color and also provides the chalky texture. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect.
  • Allow the chalkboard paint to dry fully
  • Paint the color onto the outside of the jars
  • allow it to dry fully and repeat until you reach the desired look
  • Gently use low grit sand paper to remove paint over the words to reveal the darker color underneath

After two coats of paint it looked like this:
painted spring mason jars - theinspiredcafe.com
After 3 coats of paint and some sanding it looked like this:
painted spring mason jars - theinspiredcafe.com
I love how the jars looked after sanding them. It really added a nice touch and brought out some character in the jars! Add some flowers and some twine and you are ready to go!
painted spring mason jars - theinspiredcafe.com
painted spring mason jars - theinspiredcafe.com
Here is a video tutorial from me to you! Enjoy!

Be Fearless Update

Hey what’s up party people!

Oh my gosh…that’s so 1990′s.

I guess you thirty somethings will appreciate that!

So anyway, if you’ve been following me here on my blog or on youtube especially, you will know that this year is something I’m calling my #befearless year. I’m trying to step out of my comfort zone and do things that I wouldn’t normally do-or would seriously cause some IBS trouble if I thought about doing it. No offense to you IBS-ers out there. My husband has it so I know how serious it can get. But sometimes…I wonder about myself.

But I digress…

Recently I attended my first networking meeting of the year. It was an event called Uprising Duex which featured artists, dancers, singers, rappers, jewelry makers, DJ’s and more. It was put on by Colour Blind, Inc. It was a place where you could talk, eat, meet, mingle and make connections with other artists. They had live entertainment going on all night and it was a blast. To tell you the truth I was so nervous prior to the event. I didn’t know what to expect, I was worried about people judging me (I don’t know why), I was worried if I’d be dressed right. It’s crazy what goes through your mind when you are nervous.

uprising deux

In the end I learned that there was NOTHING to be afraid of. I met some really cool people, saw some old friends and even made a connection that might land me an audition with a comedy improv group!

I learned that you NEVER know what could happen if you get out from in front of your computer and go meet people face to face! It’s really not that scary because everyone is just HUMAN and was there for the same reason as I was. The more I relaxed the more I had fun and that’s what it’s really all about, right?

Thanks for stopping by!

God Bless

Weekly Wishes #47

weeklywishes-47-theinspiredcafe

This week was full of so much activity.

  • I had the opportunity to showcase a 10 minute presentation of my one woman show Sweatpants & High Heels at the launch event for a group called Wealthy Sisters which an international group that focuses on personal and business development for women.
  • My oldest daughter had her first math competition that I didn’t even know was an 8 hour event until we were in the car and she told me that she was supposed to carry a lunch! I almost turned around and called the whole thing off.

But I didn’t. I called in the hubs to take over at lunch time so my daughter and I could go on an audition later that afternoon.

Then yesterday I got in the scariest car accident of my life.

With my daughter in the car.

On a bridge overlooking the highway below.

It involved 7 cars.

I know. I’m cringing again as I write this.

Those moments make you so thankful to God to be alive. But I will save that for another blog post after I have time to process.

On to the goals…

Last week’s wishes

  1. Work on my acting website
  2. At least get an outline for my short film
  3. Work on redesign plan for our small bathroom

I was able to work on my acting site a little bit. I have a good start at least.

I did not get to do an outline for my short film

I did not get to work on a redesign plan for our small bathroom but I did pin a lot of ideas!

I did however finish those Jamaica pics! You can see them here if you’d like.

This week did not really turn out to be productive in ways that I planned but they were productive in surprising ways. Having a chance to get my show and name out there in front of people was a great opportunity and a lot of people had good things to say about my work which was really encouraging.

This week’s wishes are to

1. blog every day
2. Work on my acting website
3. Work on a redesign plan for our small bathroom
4. Take time out every day to do some productive thinking

What are your goals this week?

The Nectar Collective

My Trip to Jamaica in Pictures

waiting in the airport
We waited in the airport for a few hours before our flight. My brother is on the far right in the black hoodie.
cross at whimhill
We went to visit my grandfather’s land called Whimhill. He had 10 acres that he worked on to provide for his family while pastoring the parish church. I found this cross on the ground while we were walking and exploring. It seemed fitting, don’t you think.
dadandsanatwhimhillja2014
My brother and my dad. They both hadn’t been back to Jamaica in over 15 years. My brother was SO happy to see my grandmother. My grandmother was SO happy to see her son in law after so many years. It was so nice to see my grandmother again too!
biggest tree root ever
The roots of this tree were soo massive! This picture doesn’t do it justice!
cocotree
This was the coco plant I think.
countrysidecloudy
This was the countryside as we were driving with my cousin to do some touring around.
gated community
This was a new subdivision that was being built. The houses and the gardens were so beautiful!
jamaica clinic3
This is the clinic that my mother opened in 2010. It has two apartments for missionaries and a front room for a medical clinic. I hope one day that it will be used to serve the community.
sanandebony
My brother and his lovely wife! This was her first time in Jamaica. My grandmother was so happy to meet her. It was so great to spend some time with my sis in law!
dija at ricks
This is my hollywood shot at Rick’s Cafe! haha!
_MG_4751
Me and my cuz at Rick’s Cafe! He took us everywhere! He is so talented at designing and building houses!
lighthouse
The view of the light house from Rick’s Cafe. My grandfather’s land is beyond the light house.
ricks cafe boats
Rick’s Cafe
ricks cafe cliff
More of Rick’s Cafe
ricks looking down at water
Looking down at the boats at Rick’s Cafe. I love that place!
san at restaurant
My cousin took us to this amazing Restaurant overlooking the ocean. It got so dark so fast I really couldn’t take that many pictures. I kept trying to get a cool angle with the fire and my brother in the background. Oh well.



Jamaican apples taste like they are somewhere between an apple and a pear. It’s the perfect combination and so refreshing!


I didn’t want to leave. I was literally trying to soak up as much sun as I could before heading home.

This was probably one of the coolest thing I had ever done in my life! We went on a river hike through a river. We saw shrimp and fish. We swam through deep rocks. We created natural body scrubs with limestone and then ended in the “washing machine” where you see me there in the picture. It was like a hydro-massage. Is that a real word? I don’t know. But that’s the best way I can think of describing it. My skin was like SO SOFT!
coffee shop at airport
This is my favorite duty free store at the airport. I bought some of the Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee! I LOVE that coffee! It’s so delicious.
jamaica fruit
These were called custard apples. Let me tell you! I had no idea that God made custard come in a fruit. It seriously tastes like custard on the inside. The fruit is soft and even of a custard consistency! Jamaica has the best fruit EVAH!

 

A Study of the Proverbs 31 Woman-Part 3

rp_what-a-lady-623x1024.jpg
It’s been a while since I’ve posted on Proverbs. It’s just. so. intimidating. But nonetheless, I’m working through this scripture meditating on each verse as I go.

As I study this I’m learning so much and being convicted in my own life as well…

Duh duh DUUUHHHHH (as my 6 year old son says to bring emphasis to certain situations.)

Today we are going to look at Proverbs 31:11-12

“The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.”

In the Hebrew “heart” means their “inner part, their soul, their mind and conscience.” It’s more than a word describing an organ that pumps blood to the body, it’s the essence of who a person is. The part of a person that thinks, feels, reasons, and worries. “Trust” means “to have confidence in, to be secure” but it also means to “feel safe, and careless”.

Say Whaat?! His inner being trusts her so much that he is without care! When it comes to trusting his wife this man has full confidence that she can totally handle what is entrusted to her so much so that he doesn’t have to worry if she will act foolishly with finances, the care of the home or in the way that she conducts herself in private or public.

Since the second part of the verse, “and he will have no lack of gain”  is connected with the first, it seems that the result her trustworthiness is linked to gains in his life.

I thought it was interesting that the word “gain” in the Hebrew means “spoil, possessions, and booty”. Usually those words describe what happens when you go to war and conquer a nation, village, or group of people. The conquerer gets to take the possessions or spoils of victory from those who were taken over.

While I was doing this study I was compelled to bust into my husband’s office and ask him if he trusted me. I was so intrigued about the level of trust this scripture was talking about that I was convicted, not guilted into making sure I was a trustworthy partner. My husband chuckled (mainly because he is used to my dramatics) and honestly said that does trust me now more than before in the area of finances.

I thought about what happens if there is no trust between people with something like finances. Not only is the money being spent unwisely, but there is no opportunity for increase or gains in this area. I’ll be honest, I would overspend in certain areas before. Mainly because we didn’t have a system that I could understand or fit my “financial style” (see Dave Ramsey). When we got super serious and created a budget and a system I could maintain, we started to see a change in our finances. I started to see months where we were able to make fiduciary gains i.e. pay of some debt since I was the one primarily making purchases for our family.

In case you were wondering, yes, I was looking for a chance to use the word “fiduciary”.

But I digress…

Now I’ll be honest, when I read scripture my post feminist self was like “what about the man doing the woman good all the days of HER life? What about the wife being able to trust her husband so SHE will have no lack of gain?”

But I would NEVER say that out loud…

Not at all…

But seriously, after some thought I realized that this verse is  alluding to the fact that women have a great deal of influence. The trustworthiness of this woman has a direct effect on her husband’s gain. And we all know that in the grand scheme of things when your husband wins, you and your family win too. Therefore if she is not trustworthy, there will certainly be losses for her husband and in essence, the entire family. A trust worthy woman is a powerful woman who can influence the gains of her family. Now before we get all “I am woman hear me roar” on our men let’s move on to verse 12.

“She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

The word “good” in this sense means SO MUCH stuff in the Hebrew! She is “pleasant to the senses, to the higher nature, understanding of man’s (human’s) intellectual nature, appropriate, becoming, kind, ethical, prosperous and moral.” Therefore verse 12 tempers verse 11 in that even though we have a huge part to play in the gains of our family whether social, financial, etc., we don’t want to be tempted to treat our husbands in an evil way causing him harm, distress, or being hurtful. All the days of her life is a long time. It’s not something that we can do in our own strength because during our lifetime, there will absolutely be days when we don’t feel like being anything like the Proverbs 31 woman. In fact, we may even want to strangle her.

Wait. What?

I know that I have to ask the Holy Spirit to help me daily to die to myself and allow Him to grow these characteristics in me. Because if we can influence our family in a positive way we can definitely influence our family in a negative way and lose out on many gains. It made me think of this scripture from Proverbs:

A wise woman builds her house -theinspiredcafe.com
(source)

God has given us women, mothers and wives a lot of power and influence in our homes. It may not look the way we want to all the time but we have it. Our actions, attitudes, and thoughts can truly effect the increase or decrease of our families. When we do good to our husbands and become trustworthy women we are actually blessing ourselves and our households in the long run. Sometimes the world can cause us to think that because we are biblically asked to direct these godly characteristics towards our husbands that we are some how “less than” or falling into pre feminism thought. But I disagree. God created a beautiful and awesome and powerful place for women in the family structure. I see that now after studying these verses some more.  Our bosses, jobs or clients actually encourage us to treat them with these very characteristics  for gain in their own companies or projects. How much more should we ask the Holy Spirit to help us direct and develop these characteristics towards our husbands and families?

I want to sincerely thank you for stopping by The Inspire(d) Cafe and spending time with me. It truly means a lot.

God Bless.

Hey what did you think about this? Any thoughts?

 

12 Creative DIY Easter Egg Ideas

2 creative easter egg diy ideas theinspiredcafe.com

Pinterest sure has a way of getting your creative juices flowing…even if you swear you don’t have any creative juices. And if you usually have creative juices then they are probably running a muck right now with Easter Craft ideas. Just yolkin’ with you thar.

Do you think that I took that analogy too far?

Good. I don’t either.

This Easter Egg post all started when I happened upon one of my favorite blogs EVAH and found this delightful little easter egg craft. It was so simple. So cute. So creative. So that sent me on a quest to find other unique creative diy easter egg ideas for those of you who wanted to get out of the normal egg box and roll around a little in some new ideas. haha. I’m kind of an egg head when it comes to looking for fun craft ideas.

Was that too much? Maybe a little.

Well lets get started. I have 10 Eggstremely cute ideas for you to try this Easter.

Sorry.

I couldn’t resist.

10 Unique DIY Easter Egg Ideas
(A Beautiful Mess)
10 Unique DIY Easter Egg Ideas
(Gold Leaf Egg DIY)
10 Unique DIY Easter Egg Ideas
(Chalk designed Eggs)
10 Unique DIY Easter Egg Ideas
(Vintage Eggs)
10 Unique DIY Easter Egg Ideas
(Water Color Eggs)
10 Unique DIY Easter Egg Ideas
(Nail Polish Marbled Eggs)
10 Unique DIY Easter Egg Ideas
(Glitter Eggs)
10 Unique DIY Easter Egg Ideas
(Crotched DIY Easter Eggs)
10 Unique DIY Easter Egg Ideas
(Paper Mache Eggs)
naturally dyed easter eggs theinspiredcafe.com
(Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs)
Modern Easter Egg DIY theinspiredcafe.com
(Modern Easter Egg Design)
Graffiti Easter Egg
(Graffiti DIY Easter Eggs)

Did you like any of these ideas? Have you tried some of your own?

Weekly Wishes #46

weekly wishes 46 theinspiredcafe.com

Hey you all lovely people!

I am so glad to be back on the Weekly Wishes train! I missed last wee because we were out of town visiting my parents during the kids’ spring break. It was a much needed visit and we had such a wonderful time with the grandparents. My favorite memory is teaching my son how to play chess! He really loves planning out the moves in his head and seeing what will happen with each choice he makes. I might have a little future strategist on my hands!

My goals from last time:

  1. Continue to be consistent with my work outs
  2. Continue to edit photos from Jamaica
  3. Do something fun with the kids while they are on spring break

Say Whaaat? I actually met my goals! I continued to work out a few times last week! I didn’t do it 5 days but I did get a few days in even on break which I’m really happy about! I finished editing my photos from my Jamaica trip which I will share in another post next week. The kids and I went to visit my parents and that was a lot of fun as I mentioned earlier.

This week:

  1. Work on my acting website
  2. At least get an outline for my short film
  3. Work on redesign plan for our small bathroom

What are your some of your goals? How do you stay accountable?

 

Dealing with Fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia theinspiredcafe.com

I’ve been in denial about something for several years. I didn’t want to accept it. I didn’t want to look weak. I didn’t want to come off as giving excuses or complaining but now I must face it.

About 8 years ago I was diagnosed with something called Fibromyalgia because of the extreme fatigue, pain, and depression I was feeling on a consistent basis. I had never heard of this diagnosis until a lady at my church gave me a pamphlet after listening to my symptoms. It turns out she had it and for the first time someone really understood what I was going through. When I read through the pamphlet I started to cry. I cried because I had almost every symptom they mentioned and also because I had almost every symptom they mentioned. I didn’t want to have a disease especially something that doctors didn’t know much about. But there was a huge possibility that the symptoms I was dealing with were not in my head. And that was giving me hope because I had been going through testing for everything under the sun to determine what was causing my pain. I was going through brain scans, and at one point a doctor wanted to do a spinal tap for M.S.
fibromyalgia theinspiredcafe.com
The pain for me started around 13 while I was a hard core gymnast. It started in my upper back and right shoulder and neck. It was horrible. At that time I was pushing myself very hard and even doing extra workouts and exercises at home in order to get stronger. I wasn’t bad but I wasn’t the best either and I wanted to be the best. I had a typical first born, A type of personality but I also was/am and introverted person and didn’t quite understand what it meant to internalize stress and emotions in an unhealthy way and how that could contribute to muscle pain. Over the years I went from doctor to doctor for testing. One orthopedic surgeon wanted to perform rotator cuff surgery on my at a 15 years old. Thank God my parents said no! The only thing that helped was massage therapy. Eventually I had to quit gymnastics because the pain was getting so bad I had to stop competing and doing regular workouts with my teammates. I remember sitting in my room crying after practice because I couldn’t lift my arm above my head and my fingers and hands would regularly go numb. I used to think to myself that this shouldn’t be how a teenager should live.
sometimes I just want to hibernate theinspiredcafe.com
In college I learned to live with the pain day in and day out. At that time we did most of our homework by hand still and not many of us carried laptops. I’ve never written so much in my life as I did in college and that only added to the pain in my right arm, shoulder and neck. But still no amount of pain medication would help. I was so sick of doctors at the time that I didn’t even entertain the thought of visiting another one.
someecards fibromyalgia theinspiredcafe.com
Fast forward to 8 years ago when I had read that pamphlet from the lady at church. At the time I was working full time and had become a mother and a wife. I went to get tested by a rheumatologist and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I remember the doctor rattling off all of these strange drugs to me but his voice slowly turned into the “wah wah wah” of the teacher in Charlie Brown. I later found out that I was pregnant and was grateful I didn’t follow through with all of those medications. I read that doctors just swept patients into a bucket called “fibromyalgia” when they couldn’t figure out what was going on and tests were never conclusive. And so I went on to have my baby and continue to deal with the pain. By this time it was normal to have low quality sleep and pain. I was a mother to a new born and a toddler after all. I knew no other way to live. I eventually would have these bouts of pain in my face that were so severe I would lay down and sleep for hours just to get a break from the pain. I would also have times when my back would scream at me and all I could do was lay in bed and cry. I would stay in bed for days until the pain eventually subsided. Again I just took this as normal because no one could tell me what was going on. The only thing that helped was going to a chiropractor regularly but even that can get expensive and made it difficult to stay consistent with visits.

A few years ago I was in two car accidents  within weeks of each other which resulted in another flare up of pain and other strange symptoms like my legs wanting to give out on me when I walked or did any kind of low impact activity. I went for nerve damage testing and of course that came back negative. I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to return to the activities that I loved doing. Like dancing and playing with my kids. Even though my body hurt a lot, physical activity just made me feel happy. And now even that was being taken away from me! For the first time in my life I was asking God “WHY?”. Why was He allowing me to go through this pain? Why did it feel like my mobility was being slowly stolen from me? I was really scared. Meanwhile I was losing the energy needed to maintain relationships and I felt like I was growing apart from my friends. I am grateful for how understanding and helpful my wonderful husband was during this time. Although he probably didn’t fully understand he always made me feel like it was okay to be honest with him when I was just tired or in too much pain to deal with the children. He is everything to me.

I ended up being referred to another rheumatologist and went through another host of testing. Once again I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This time I had no pregnancy to blame for my fatigue, lack of quality sleep, moodiness, and pain. I finally accepted the diagnosis. It’s taken me a long time to even get the courage up to write this post after knowing for several months about the diagnosis. Today doctors know more about the disease than ever before. But it is still diagnosed by ruling out everything else. Part of me was so happy to have a diagnosis and part of me suspects that it’s caused by toxic imbalances. But I’m still just learning. I believe that with the right lifestyle changes I can feel like myself again. In fact, there were periods of my life when I felt really good. Those were when I was exercising regularly and taking care of myself. Of course that was when I only had one child. With three kids it’s a little more challenging. But I’m determined to make these lifestyle changes! I have to! There are too many things that I want to do in my life. I’m tired of being tired.
present sufferings theinspiredcafe.com
(Source)
One thing that I’ve started doing was exercising regularly again. I purchased Shaun T’s Beach Body workout called Focus T25 which is a 25 minute workout you do daily for 10 weeks. You can read more about that here. I’m also taking flexirol as needed to help me get some better sleep. It does help but I feel groggy for a few days afterwards. As soon as I start to feel like myself again I stop because I don’t like taking pills. I feel confident that I can find an alternative way to get better sleep. Right now I’m in that place right  before hopeful. I have good days and bad days. But right now it feels like it’s more bad. Every day is a fight physically to work out, and go about my daily tasks.  All I can do is trust in God and trust that He is working this out for my good (Romans 8:28). Please don’t think that I’m looking for pity. In fact, I’m always worried that I’ll come off like I’m complaining. I have so many things to be grateful for and I am determined not to  use fibromyalgia as a crutch or a vehicle to develop bitterness towards people who don’t understand dealing with chronic pain. At my core I am an optimistic person and I know that this diagnosis will some how bring me closer to God.

Here is a video I made about why I started Focus t25

If you got to the end of this long post. Thanks for staying with me.

Blessings

Week 1 of Focus T25

I’ve been working through Shaun T’s new workout Focus T25 for a few weeks. Focus T25 is a 25 minute intense workout that you do 5 days a week. I really have found this workout to be a lot of fun and really doable even though it’s challenging. Shaun T’s personality and motivation really gets me energized to keep going. After all it’s only 25 minutes right?  I’ve also opted to use Shakeology to help speed up my results. I am currently in my third week of the workout so I’m a little behind on my vlogs about the workout. Bear with me!

Here is a video I made of my first week on Focus T25!

Results:

Inches lost

  • Start  week: 35 inches
  • This week: 34 inches

Weight Lost:

  • Start week: 145 lbs
  • After 1st week: 148 lbs

I was very frustrated to see my weight go up. But at least I lost an inch around my waist. Otherwise I would think that I am totally on the wrong track. I’m going to chalk it up to the toxins that are being released from my cardio workout…yeah that’s it…it’s the toxins.

 

Focus T25

Have you heard of Beach Body’s latest product craze? It’s called Focus T25 created by Shaun T who also is the creator of the Insanity Workout. Well I totally jumped on the bandwagon after seeing the results from Nicole from mommytipsbycole. This lady is one hot mama!

I decided to go ahead and order the challenge pack which comes with a month’s supply of Shakeology along with the workout. So far I really like the program. I got p90x a few years ago and found it impossible to get through the whole challenge because the workouts are 1-1.5 hours a day! I don’t know who has that much time EVERY DAY! I sure didn’t. I was interested in starting Focus T25 because of the promise that you could change your body in 25 minutes of focused exercise a day. The very idea that the workouts are only 25 minutes actually motivate me to start the workout knowing that I’m not eating a huge chunk of my day with going to the gym, doing my exercise, going home showering and eating. Which can literally take 2 hours out of my day! Now, after I get the kids off to school I can down a shake, throw on my workout clothes, work out for 25 minutes, shower and get started on my day!

After two weeks of Focus T25 I have NOT seen any drop in my weight. In fact, I’ve gained three pounds. But I know this can be normal when starting out a new workout after not working out for a while. However, I have been feeling less pain in my joints and muscles because I think 25-30 minutes of exercise is the sweet spot for me. Meaning it’s not so much that I’m super sore and it’s not so little that I’m not challenged. And believe me this 25 minute workout is not  a cake walk! Shaun T will keep you motivated and having fun. By the time you think you are going to pass out, it’s over!

I’m posting update videos on my youtube channel and here every week so you can stay updated with my progress. I’m not going to lie. It’s also my way of staying accountable. I feel very discouraged with my weight loss goals and I really need encouragement to stay focused. One thing I will do differently this time is set up some rewards for myself when I reach certain milestones.

If you want to see what I got in my beach body package you can view the video below!