Feature Friday: Emily Johnson & Norwex

It’s Friiiiiiiiiiiiidayyyyyyyyyyyy!!!! I don’t even exactly know why I’m so excited about that except for the fact that I get to sleep in tomorrow. Sleeping in is still a glorious thing to me. Like, there should be a 6th love language– “letting your wife sleep in,” because that is DEFINITELY mine.

But enough about sleep. I’m awake now and I want to tell you a little bit about one of my very dearest friends in the entire world. We actually met back in the summer of 2000. It was stifling hot in East Texas and we were staying in these big tent-houses {Quonset huts– ask Google if you are entirely befuddled} for a week while training for an upcoming trip to Israel. I had gone back to my bunk to get something out of my bag only to discover a detergent disaster. Laundry detergent EVERYWHERE– liquid– all over my whole bag of clothes! Egad! And in swoops this sassy, take-charge, fix-the-problem hero to help me get it all washed and repacked {with FAR superior organization than originally existed}. She blessed me, and I’ve cherished and trusted her ever since. That was the beginning of a deep and beautiful friendship– the kind that changes your soul and makes your life better.

We were so young and sweet and lacking in access to hair styling tools! {In Jerusalem- July 2000}

We were so young and sweet and lacking in access to hair styling tools! {In Jerusalem- July 2000}

Since we began our friendship over a cleaning product, what could possibly be more apropos than her partnership with Norwex?! *For the record, do yourself a HUGE favor and order the graphite body clothes {to take off your eye makeup with no makeup remover}, the Envirocloths and the Window cloth! LIFE CHANGER– and more importantly– LIFE SIMPLIFIER! * And with that, let me welcome, Emily!

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My name is Emily, and I am an organizing fanatic/clean freak/wannabe green chick. Now, you should know that while I love (L-O-V-E) to organize the nooks and crannies of, well, everything, and that I get a high from transforming a Hoarders nightmare into a vision of order, peace and beauty … I, in fact, do NOT love to clean. I love the feeling after I’ve cleaned the tar out of something. But the actual process of getting motivated to clean, coming up with a plan, finding time, then gathering all my supplies and not getting distracted with a new (shiny) project, a phone call or painting my chipped nail polish is not something that happens all too often. I would far rather develop an entirely new way of organizing my pantry or junk drawer (yes, I even organize my junk) than dust, wash windows or mop my kitchen floor.

 

I’m all about the 20-minute cleaning blitz. It usually looks something like this: I say to my husband, “Brittney is coming over. Quick, let’s clean!” And then we hit all the crucial spaces and the ones we’d be judged for being dirty. Just like all of you, our lives are busy. Part of my organizing obsession stems from my firm belief that when your life is organized, you gain back seconds and minutes to your life that you can use for fun … not cleaning or searching for missing items.

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This past fall, Rachel (one of my dearest friends) introduced me to Norwex—an amazing company (with a weird name) that strives to make every home a safe haven by radically reducing chemicals. I’m usually skeptical of the latest and greatest “as seen on TV” phenom products, but since it came from Rachel, I knew I needed to check it out. She explained that I could stop buying an aisle’s worth of cleaners and scrubs and instead switch to water and microfiber while saving time and money and having fun cleaning. I said: “You had me at ‘saving time’!”

Since, I didn’t know where to start, Rachel just picked all her favorite, can’t-live-without-‘em products and had them shipped to my house. Fast forward through the part where I watched a YouTube video to learn how everything worked then went on a cleaning rampage in my dirty house. Armed with only two microfiber cloths and clean water, I was blown away with each mess I quickly cleaned. Dusting, windows, tile floors, stainless steel appliances, ancient carpet stains, more shower buildup than is normal and three toilets later … I was HOOKED!

Now I could tell you all about what it really means to be clean or about how Norwex is just over 20 years old and started in Norway (hence NORWex). Or I could go into detail about how Norwex has redefined cleaning and personal care or about the incredible science locked up in those microscopic fibers or how these cloths can self-clean … but instead, you can read about it yourself here.

I’ll just tell you that whether you’re cleaning your home, taking care of yourself or doing laundry, these products will AMAZE you!

I became an Independent Sales Consultant for Norwex, because I tend to be a walking billboard for pretty much anything I love. I LOVE having the opportunity to help people reduce their chemical usage, simplify their day-to-day lives and save time and money while miraculously making cleaning more fun.

Being able to effectively and quickly clean your entire house with just microfiber cloths and WATER feels about as amazing as being able to go into work every day bra-less and in your sweats. Oh, and did I mention that you can clean more quickly? In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a HUGE fan and a big believer!!

To shop, see specials and order online, you can visit my website. For questions or to learn more, feel free to email me at emily.johnson80@gmail.com. Mention Kirsten Smith or Lovespun Studio to take advantage of either 10% or $10 off (your pick!) the amount of your first purchase.

My Makeup Must-Haves

This is a really girly post. I have no reason to deny it. It is what it is. I’ve spent a good amount of time over the years thinking that because I have other thoughts and ideas and opinions that I should eschew fashion, makeup and other things that one could justly deem “non-essential” to the art of living well, but the truth is that although my daily uniform typically includes a sweatshirt and a pair of skinny jeans, I really do have fun with fashion from time to time– just keep in mind that rural Hoosier fashion is not on the same playing field as Highland Park, Dallas, fashion– college taught me that REAL fast! ;) But that’s another post for another day.

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Let’s chat makeup. Why? Because I’m 34 years old and finding the right makeup has taken YEARS. I STILL haven’t found my perfect mascara and I have zero clue what to do with my eyebrows so I really don’t do anything. That aside, I HAVE found a few things that I go back to time and again, so let’s focus on those {except, if you can recommend the world’s greatest mascara, PLEASE SHARE YOUR SECRET! M’kay? Help this sister out! Thanks!}

First up, let’s chat foundation. My face is weird. No, really, it is. I lived in Dallas when I was planning my wedding. That meant that instead of having access to the makeup aisle at Wal-Mart, I had access to the makeup department at Dillards, Neiman Marcus, and everywhere else that is far superior to your big box store {Sephora was not yet a *thang.* Remember, I’m 34}. Of course, my friend Emily and I were mildly obsessed with MAC cosmetics. I don’t even know exactly why, because I didn’t look that great in my 20’s. I certainly didn’t grieve waving goodbye to that decade of my life. Anyhoo– I strolled into the MAC area and hopped up in the chair to let the Pro work her magic and prettify my face for my wedding– and guess what happened when she tried foundation on me? You guessed it– she was like, “Hmmm…that’s weird. It really DOESN’T work for you. Let’s try the powder.” I sat there thinking, “Told ya so.” To this day, I only wear powder foundation. It took YEARS to find one that I like, but leave it to a Big Box store to deliver {Sorry this time, Sephora}. My go to for foundation is Revlon Colorstay Aqua Mineral Makeup, Medium. It feels all cool and light going on– it’s awesome!

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Next up is always my blush, a little bronzer and then eyeshadow. I have never been on to get overly excited about makeup– and the thought of spending a small fortune on it made me want to choke. But, before I set off on vacation last February, I decided to give the Naked 3 eyeshadow palette a try and WOW…a year later it is still going strong and I love it so much that I wear it daily. {No lectures about throwing out makeup like every month– seriously. Who’s got the funds for *that*!} Since I loved the Naked 3 Eyeshadow Palette so much, I thought that I would give the Naked Flushed Palette with bronzer, highlighter and blush a try. It’s now a staple! I’m actually crushing on this little NAKED2 BASICS Naked on the Run Palette LIMITED EDITION beauty a bit too for convenience sake {you know, when I have to put on my makeup in the car rider drop off line in the mornings– don’t even pretend like you don’t do it too}.

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As for eyeliner and mascara, I’m still working on that. I do like Sephora’s waterproof retractable eyeliner and so far, Buxom’s waterproof mascara is up for the win– but I’m open to suggestions on mascara. Read: PLEASE GIVE ME MASCARA SUGGESTIONS!!!!

Finally, we let’s talk lips. I love lip paint. I do. I would rather throw on a tiny bit of mascara and some lip gloss than go all out {but when I do that, people as me if I’m feeling ok because apparently I look ill without makeup– so there’s that.} Here are my faves:

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Sephora Color Adapt Gloss Unique Pink is incredible all on its own or you can throw it over any color to gloss things up a bit. It alters its color based on the ph of your lips. Super rad. Sometimes Parker and I put it on Sephora’s Unique Pink at the same time and watch the mirror to see what different colors our lips turn. We’re easily entertained. It’s a little sticky, but nothing like Mac glosses tend to be– I don’t like sticky lips, but I can do this no problem. My next two faves are Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick 458 Waterviolet topped with Maybelline New York Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm, Grape Vine. This combo looks great at night or during the day. Sometimes if I’m feeling extra sassy I’ll put on Clinique Angel Red. Finally, my friend Dana sent me this tube of doTerra’s Peppermint and Wild Orange Lip Balm last spring. Can I say both yummy and perfection? Well, it is.

There you have it friends. My make-up must-have rundown. If you have favorite beauty products, I would LOVE to hear all about them! And for the record, the click-able links are affiliate links to Amazon for your convenience, but you can absolutely find this stuff elsewhere too. Happy Monday!

Feature Friday: Dana Moore with doTERRA Essential Oils

Hi’ya everyone! Please excuse the radio silence on the blog this week. I am desperately working to organize a few things around the studio and planning time to blog is one of them. I’m getting there– we CAN do this thang. ;) In the meantime, Friday is the one day that I am committed to showing up in this space and showing off my brilliant friends! This week is no exception.

Dana and I met when we spent a year together at an internship in East Texas. She was smart, articulate, sweet and a natural leader. Fast forward 14 years, and all of those things still apply– only she’s added an adorable family to her life and taken her leadership up to outstanding levels! Let’s show Dana a little love and welcome her to the blog! :D

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Hey everyone! I am so excited to be Featured on Lovespun Studio! Kirsten is super talented and has a great eye for quality and a knack for creativity, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to be asked to do a post on something that I am very passionate about.
Let’s back up a bit so I can introduce myself.

My name is Dana Moore, I am first a lover of God, a wife to Nate, and a mom to 4 amazing, wild, and totally delicious kids, Olivia, Luca, Harper and Max.

I love all things healthy and natural. (well, not ALL things – I never could get into cloth diapering.) I am a teacher, a birth doula and most recently a dōTERRA Essential Oil Wellness Advocate. That is what the meat of this blog entry is all about! dōTERRA Essential Oils.

For a quick intro on doterra, watch this 4 minute clip:

Our family has been using essential oils for 8 years. Now if you know anything about dōTERRA, it has only existed for 6 years so you are right to assume I have used oils from other companies. I actually love that this is my history with oils because with all of the “oil wars” that go on these days, I feel like I have a very objective view and a variety of experience.

I landed with dōTERRA over 2 years ago. My first experience looked something like this: A cold November night in Wisconsin with wine, dark chocolate, close friends, nursing babies, and oils. I think we talked more about birth than oils, but nonetheless, I learned more in that evening than I had in my previous 6 years using oils from other companies. I was literally blown away by my lack of knowledge and I was hungry to share this information with the with everyone I knew!

I set out on a mission to educate people on essential oils. I never had any intention of turning this love for essential oil education into a business. In fact, I was adamantly against that. Vehemently. But sometimes God has other plans. Nate and I genuinely wanted people to know about their safe, natural health care options because we care about people. The cool thing about dōTERRA is that when you share oils with others, you get paid. And if you share with more people, you get paid more. So this mysterious pay check kept arriving in our mail box and I was dumbfounded. I really didn’t even care to dissect the compensation plan to know how or why this company was sending me checks. Nate however, did. And when he sat down to understand the business and partner with me in the strategy of building, everything took off. In the past year I have traveled to over 10 states to teach classes and train people to use and reap the benefits of dōTERRA essential oils. It’s been an exhilarating time of personal development, caring for others and growing our team.

 So why dōTERRA? These are my main 3 reasons:

1. Education: They do a phenomenal job of providing resources, research, and materials for their oils users to glean from.

2. Sourcing: dōTERRA sources all of their oils where they grow indigenously. Plants that are grown in their native origin, with the best soil and climate are going to produce an essential oil that is very potent and beneficial to the body. Of the 26 countries we source from, 18 of them are impoverished and dōTERRA takes huge strides to give back to these countries through co-impact sourcing and through the Healing Hands Foundation.

Check out this video about co-impact sourcing.

3. Opportunity: I have seen countless people change because of dōTERRA. I have seen major health changes, major financial changes and major personal development. I have watched shy housewives come alive when sharing oils with others. I have seen couples become more engaged with one another and life as they navigate through their oil journey together. I have seen families completely transform and hope come to people’s hearts. I have seen dreams and possibilities that were once dormant spring to life again. This is why we do what we do. We love being catalysts of change and we love people.

You may be thinking, “but what would I use essential oils for?!?!” Great question! And the answer is EVERYTHING. Nearly everything you reach for in your medicine cabinet can be replaced safely and effectively with dōTERRA. You would not believe how empowering it is to have oils at you fingertips when your child wakes up at 3 am on the weekend with a high fever. There is so much peace knowing you have the tools to bring safe relief to that symptom. If you have 30 more minutes left of nap time, refill your tea cup and check out my intro class here:

You will be glad you did!

Ready to get started with dōTERRA? email me at nateanddana@gmail.com. Those of you that choose to start your wholesale membership are in for a treat! There is a special promotion going on right now that entitles you to $100 in free products. In addition, mention LOVE SPUN STUDIO and we will send you a free gift!

Blessings and Cheers for a happier and healthier 2015!

Dana

Feature Friday: Allison Wagler from Nest 2 Impress {GIVEAWAY}

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{Psst… Allison has offered to let us do a giveaway today too! See the bottom of the post for entry rules and a special discount code  for Lovespun Studio readers.}

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Do you already know Allison Wagler of Nest 2 Impress?  If not, you are missing out! I’m not even being dramatic, pinky-promise. Allison and I have been friends since way WAY back in the day– we have everything from church confirmation camp to double prom dates tucked away in our friendship file. Allison has been filling my heart with her infectious joy for years, and now she fills my Facebook and Instagram feeds with her impeccable design style every single day! Clearly, I’m the winner on all accounts. ;)

I asked Allison if I could interview her here at Lovespun Studio today and she readily agreed! {Yay for US!} Everyone, wrap your hands around that coffee mug and settle to meet Allison.

Me: People all over the world are dying to know more about you {well, if they aren’t, they SHOULD BE}. Tell us where you are from and all about your family.

TSOS_Allison_34Allison: I am a freelance interior designer, a wife, and a mother of 3 with one more on the way! Six years ago I put my blossoming interior design career on hold when my son was 5 months old. Toting my baby around from showroom to new construction site became a challenge. I would show up to a job with a tape measure and fabric books on one arm and a sometimes-fussy babe on the other arm. Not very professional, I know,  but thankfully my clients never seemed to mind.

As a residential interior designer I represented clients in various cities throughout Indiana. I once worked on a high profile college basketball coach’s home and the university’s locker rooms. I admit that I was a little starstruck at first, but I had a blast on the project. Plus it was a wonderful experience for my portfolio!

I now freelance from home so that I can spend more time with my 3 kids {ages 7, 5 and 3}. My oldest 2 are boys and they have a 3-year-old sister. We are about to level the field with another girl due at the end of March! I am crazy about my wonderfully supportive husband. We are complete opposites by the way! You probably already guessed that. I stay up all night working out my creative insomnia, and he quite responsibly reads through the Wall Street Journal and goes to bed.

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Me: You have a fabulous eye and are always creating lovely spaces! Have you always loved design? Do you have any favorite design items that tend to suck you in?

Allison:  I think that I have always loved  art and design. I started decorating my own imaginary dream house when I was in kindergarten. I had a floor plan all drawn out in minute detail — including a pool in the basement (say what?!) and a cat stenciled wall border that I designed for the kitchen! I wish that I could find those original drawings. I have since left kindergarten and went on to study art and interior design in college.

I think my parents were pretty happy when I graduated and moved out of the house because they never got used to my late night projects. They were likely scared to get out of bed in the morning to discover another room of their house painted a bold new color or all of the furniture rearranged again! I even painted blue-on-blue vertical stripes in my bedroom the night before my high school graduation.  Nothing says “design obsession” like pulling an all-nighter before the most important day of your high school career! I still do this…imagine my husband (who does not like change) coming home to the living room rearranged on any given day. I say that the shock factor is half the fun right?!

As for favorites things, fabric, cozy rooms, paint charts, colored pencils and floor plans are at the top of my list!

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Me: Do you have a tried-and-true design tip that you could share with us?

Allison: Pick your paint color last!  When decorating a room, I usually tell clients to start with an inspiration piece or magazine picture (Pinterest is great for that!). Once your inspiration is established you can start selecting fabrics for furniture, window treatments, artwork and accessories–  THEN pick your paint color.

The good news about paint is that it is fairly economical to change. It’s AMAZING how much color plays a role in our general mood, happiness and well being. If a paint color is really bothering you, I would say it’s time for a change. Freshen up that space! I generally err on the side of neutrals for no other reason than that I just really love neutrals. I prefer to bring pops of color into a space through fabrics, accessories and artwork.

I also have an important rule to live by: NO green bathrooms!

This is especially true in a tiny bathroom with no windows. The combination of green walls + poor lighting + putting on make-up in the mirror is never flattering to your complexion.

Me: You juggle a career both as a designer and running a successful Etsy shop selling fabulous throw pillows, being a wife & motherhood – what wisdom would you share with women who are trying to balance it all?

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Allison:  I think that when you are a wife, mother, and business owner  your success is all about balance. I can easily get sucked into thinking that I can have it all and I deserve that much. Truthfully, if I am putting 200% into my business though, my family life suffers and vice-versa. I have found that delegating tasks out to others is a HUGE help. I had an intern last year that has gradually taken on more tasks and responsibilities and this year I have made her my assistant! She is invaluable to me. I know that when she is here invoices are being printed, orders are being organized and cut out, and she is keeping track of my inventory downstairs while I am upstairs cleaning up the breakfast dishes and getting my kids and myself dressed for the day. I also have learned to just get over myself. It’s funny to be having online conversations with an interior designer out in California about fabrics, productions times etc., while I am standing in the driveway watching my kids ride their bikes around the cul-de-sec. It is not so glamorous…but I am a perfectionist and I take pride in everything that I make and ship out to customers. It’s not always easy, but I try and keep my cool and try to keep my priorities straight.

See everyone? Isn’t she THE BESTEST EVER-EST?! Here is the fun part:

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Allison has graciously offered to give away any one item in her shop of YOUR choosing. There are a few ways to enter:

  1. Head over to the Nest 2 Impress Shop on Etsy by clicking HERE and come back here and tell us which item you would pick if you win!
  2. Click HERE to follow Nest 2 Impress on Instagram and leave a 2nd comment here with YOUR Instagram name to verify
  3. Click HERE and “like” the Nest 2 Impress Facebook page and leave a 3rd comment telling us that you are following on FB!

*Following on Instagram and Facebook will earn 2 entries apiece, so you should absolutely do it! **The giveaway will close on 11:59pm EST on Sunday, January, 18, 2015. Winner will be announced on Monday, January 19th!**

Finally, Lovespun Studio readers can take 25% of your order at the Nest2Impress shop using code “JAN25” for all orders through February 1st! That is a stellar deal. I know that she is closing shop for a while come February to prepare for baby #4, so hurry and get your orders in before the shop goes on vacation!

 

Christmas Break is Finally Over

Whew! That was a long one, folks! Christmas break began up here on Saturday, December 20, 2014 {Friday night if you want to get technical, but who’s counting?}. Today is Tuesday, January, 13, 2015, and this is the first full day back to school. That is 24 days people– TWENTY FOUR days! {Ok, I guess I was counting!} ;) It was time to stop the madness.

For a mom who just spent the entire last semester homeschooling, but found that the school day provided a much-needed {for me} time to work and create and simply make-things-happen-time, I might’ve done a little happy jig when I let the kiddos off at the school at 8:45 this morning.

I had time to sit down and dive into my daily Bible reading with the She Reads Truth girls. If you’re looking for a way to get into the Word this year and find a community of encouragement, the fabulous team of ladies there makes it easy with many different plans AND a 365 plan that you can read on your phone. I took the time last week to write in all of the readings for the entire year in my planner so I will see them each morning before I start in on my other tasks.

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I have a some things that I need & want to get done today. You know, important things like a) scheduling an oil change and b) planning a swanky honeymoon for a couple this May {Seriously, I *HEART* being a travel planner}, but I thought that I would leave you with entirely random thoughts– because, well, it’s my blog and I can if I wanna.

1. My children are old enough to put on their snow gear all by themselves. If you’re a momma who lives a state that freezes over each winter, you can appreciate this monumental milestone. They also shimmy OUT of their snow gear independently. Life is grand.

2. Isn’t it annoying when you have to reach way down into a bag of chips to pull one out when the chips levels are running low? Cut off the top of the chip bag. Duh. Problem solved. Best life-hack ever. Why didn’t anyone teach me this growing up? I’ve been doing this for a few years now, and I’ve meant to share, but there just wasn’t ever the right time. This probably isn’t either. But as I mentioned before, random gets full permission to invade my post today.

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On a side note, we keep our ketchup in the pantry. It’s kinda blasphemous to people, yet it makes my heart happy. It all came about because I would break into a panic if we brought home french fries and they forgot to put ketchup packets in the bag. Inevitably it meant that I had to dip hot fries in cold ketchup, which didn’t amuse me. A little light bulb blinked on and I thought to myself, “Hey self, the ketchup on the tables at restaurants isn’t in the refrigerator, so you don’t have to put yours in there either.” Problem solved. I’ve been about 10 years free of refrigerated ketchup and life is good. My french fries thank me. {Although my sweet friend, Kristy, does not love this little tidbit as she prefers cold ketchup. It’s ok my friend, I still love you.}

3. After I complete my current Zippy! orders, I am going to bring a few other things into the shop. I have a huge stash of fabric that is begging to be cut into. I’m thinking really fun pillowcases that would dress up your bed, make a great gift, etc. I still haven’t had a chance to play with my new Silhouette machine yet, so I’m thinking that personalization is an option too. I’m dying to try it out. Hellooooooo fun!

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Enough blogging! It’s time to get working {while watching the Gilmore Girls, of course}. Netflix is quite possibly the best possible part of working from home. True story.}