Feature Friday: Jill Burrows with SoLoved Photography

The sun is shining, snow blankets the ground, and my meteorologist is saying that a warm up might be just around the bend by the middle of next week. That’s a win, folks! Spring please hurry fast! :) In the meantime, while we wait for the great late thaw, I want to introduce you to my friend, Jill.

Jill and I have known each other since— hmm…summer of 1998, I believe. She and a group of her friends went to church camp with my boyfriend and his group of friends. My boyfriend and I didn’t last, but she ended up marrying one of his best friends, and I’m so so glad that they did! Jill and I have been through all sorts of shenanigans together– camping trips, weddings, fraternity parties and even the most boring New Years Eve in the history of EVER. Back in the day neither of us were what you would call, “artsy” or really so much, “creative.” I think that we hit our stride in our 30s and we’re not about to look back now! She is brilliant and sweet and caring and she is keeping me in check these days and making sure that I don’t fall off the face of the Earth {as I have a tendency to do when I get overwhelmed}. I just love Jill and I am so very very thankful for her. She has an eye for style, a heart for Jesus and love big enough to cover the world. And with that, I will turn the blog over to Jill. 

Hi friends!!! I’m so excited and honored to be featured here today! Kirsten and I have been friends since high school {so you know…only like 3 or 4 years…bahaha!! I kid I kid….}. Though we’ve been separated by way too many miles, we always seem to be able to pick up right where we left off!! Friends like that are so fun aren’t they?!

I am a wife of 11 years to my best friend Michael and we have two wild and crazy kiddos together, Brayden and Ella {ages 7 & 5}. We are Hoosiers at heart, but have decided to settle down in West Michigan and truly love it here! The winters are long and the summers are amazing, and the community God has blessed us with is truly irreplaceable!

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My crazy fun little family

I’m actually at a crossroads with my hobby/profession…bear with me and I will explain…

It wasn’t until after we had Ella that I found my creative side. We had just moved to Michigan and I had no friends…we hadn’t even found a church home yet! It’s funny how you don’t realize how much you rely on those relationships until you don’t have them! I needed something…anything…to call my own. I needed an outlet. So, I begged my husband to go dig my sewing machine out of storage {because when you are a family of 4 living in a 2 bedroom, 800 square foot apartment you must be quite selective of what you allow to take up space!} and I set up my little portable sewing spot {also known as the kitchen table} and got to work. I started small…headbands and hair clips {when you have a little girl…you learn quickly how to not spend your life savings on hair accessories and make them yourself!} and built up my confidence from there. I was a fashion merchandising major in college so I already knew the basics of sewing, it was just a matter of remembering them and feeling comfortable with it again! In January of 2011 I opened up my Etsy shop. I had NO idea what I was doing, but I figured if people were going to pay me to feed my creative outlet then I may as well let them!

In March of 2011 I bought my first DSLR camera. I distinctly remember telling my husband that I will NOT think I’m a photographer just because I have a camera. I just wanted to take decent pictures of my kids and the little pocket Nikon just wasn’t cutting it. {See where this is going here???} God works in the most mysterious ways!!

I was posting the images I was taking of my kids on social media and was getting so many compliments on them and I was like…uhhh, thanks?? I have no idea what I’m doing, but thanks??? And then I was having a casual conversation with a friend and she mentioned she had been saving up some money to take her daughter to a portrait studio to get some pictures taken. And I felt the nudge. Gentle at first and then it became more of a push. So I said to her that if she would like me to take her daughter’s pictures I would do it for free. And we could go to a park somewhere and have some fun in a more natural less pose-y setting. And so we did. And we had a blast. She loved her images and now I take her daughter’s pictures every year!

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God took that and literally RAN with it. More friends started asking me to take their pictures and it got to the point where I had to charge because it was requiring a lot more of my time. And I learned quickly people were actually willing to pay! {Whaaatttt?!?!} I started out doing families and kids, and then seniors. At some point I was asked if I would ever do weddings. And I was like NO. No way. NEVER!! And then God laughed. I booked my first wedding which took place in April of last year. And then three more followed, with two more booked for this year. Uh…seriously God?! WEDDINGS?!!?

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A couple of my favorite images from my first wedding…I was a nervous wreck! But couldn’t have asked for a better bride and groom to work with! They were amazing!

So, here I was, still clinging to the idea of sewing and trying to figure out how to make money that way, all while God is screaming PHOTOGRAPHY!!! at me. I’ve been wrestling with God with this for a LONG time. And it wasn’t until last fall that I was finally able to even accept the title of photographer. Because to be a photographer you have to be good. Really good. And that’s just not me. I don’t feel qualified, but God says I am. And who am I to tell God he’s wrong?? So I’m finally throwing my hands in the air and giving God the control. Photography it is. Now don’t get me wrong here…I love photography. LOVE it!! Capturing life through my lens is such an honor and joy. I’ve always been a picture person. Always taking pictures of the moments and memories of life. And getting to do that for other people is truly a blessing!! But accepting the fact that I’m GOOD enough to do that for other people has been extremely hard for me!!

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I have no idea where God is going to take me with this, but I will admit I’m excited!! {And maybe a little scared too!} I’ve allowed myself to dream about it and maybe God will continue to run with it, and maybe not. But in the meantime I will enjoy the journey!

You all~ Isn’t Jill amazing?! Also, she failed to mention this, but if you aren’t already following her on Instagram, you should be! Her username is @solovedphotography or you can follow her by clicking here.

Feature Friday: Chelsea Redwine with Advocare

Goooooooooood morning, world! I’m holed away here in my office shivering and wishing that I was lying on a beach. Thankfully, one month from tomorrow, I will be! I’m so glad that I’m a travel agent. Amen.

In other news, today I’ve invited Chelsea Redwine to take over the blog. I have known Chelsea’s family for years and years. Primarily through Facebook I have watched her sweet family make a beautifully fulfilling career through Advocare. Their hearts are precious– they truly do want to help people and improve lives. So read on and check out all that Chelsea has to say! {and seriously, could that family even possibly be any more adorable!?}

Advocare found my husband and I in August of 2012. I was working as a weekend option night shift RN in Transplant ICU. My husband, Milton, was working 6 days a week in a gym as a personal trainer director. We were introduced by a stranger in the gym while working out, and what we felt was a glimpse of hope for our family.

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At that time, others didn’t know we were struggling with living extremely ‘paycheck to paycheck.’ Only having real family time on Tuesday evenings because of work schedules conflicting, and my 3-year-old daughter, Jade, was spending 3-4 nights every weekend at my Mom’s house an hour away. We had overcome so much thus far, having Jade while I was in nursing school and Milton playing college football, and quickly found ourselves struggling with time and finances in the “real world”.

Skeptically, we took a deep look into Advocare, and were pleasantly surprised by the integrity and credibility the company provided. I was also very intrigued as a nurse with the science behind Advocare products along with the safety and efficacy of the products for 22 years. My husband on the other hand, saw that Advocare was used very heavily in the NFL and professional sports, and as a collegiate athlete that spoke volumes to him. We saw normal families right here in central Indiana, just like us, that had amazing transformations with Advocare and were stay at home parents because of the opportunity. At that time, we just wanted product results but couldn’t afford anything on top of our bills. So we invested a mere $79 (one time fee to become discount customers) and in 3 weeks we had reached the 40% discount on products. In those first 3 weeks, we made roughly $400, which allowed us to put money in the bank and get on product regimens based off our goals. We also loved that there is no auto shipment, no monthly fees and no minimal orders in Advocare!

My husband got injured the previous year (his Senior year playing Division 1 College Football) and had gained some weight as he recovered. During his 24 day challenge, he lost 19 lbs & kicked his habit of energy drinks and coffee, and gained energy! In 60 days on products, he had lost 30 lbs and gained 15 lbs lean muscle mass with our Performance Elite line.

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I had worked out 6 days a week, for 8 months prior to Advocare, and saw minimal results for the effort I was putting in. I was frustrated to say the least! During my 24 day challenge I lost 11 lbs and 4% body fat and was full of energy even on night shift at work & kicked my habit of a pot of coffee a day! In 60 days of staying in the lifestyle of Advocare, I had become leaner and more fit than I had ever been in my life, all while decreasing my workouts. I was amazed I went from a size 10 jeans to a size 6!

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The 24 Day challenge is a regimen that many people start on to bridge and old lifestyle to a new lifestyle while getting coached nutritionally and filling nutritional gaps with Advocare products. It is an Eat program!! The best part was we were eating more on a daily basis than we ever before, with clean whole foods. Advocare teaches to eat lean proteins, complex carbs, fruits, vegetables, good fats, while eating every 2.5-3 hours to retrain your metabolism to work for you and not against you with consistency and time. While doing this and filling nutritional gaps that you can’t get from food, your body falls in alignment. If you have weight to lose, you’ll lose it (over time- not just 24 days) and if not then you will just be a healthier you and you’ll feel much better than before! Although many start here, this regimen is not where you have to start your journey. We have over 70 nutritional products that aid in better quality of life & we tailor regimens for individuals based off of what they struggle with and their goals.

My Mom was the first person I shared Advocare with. I had watched her struggle my entire life with her health, weight and back pain. In the past 5-6 years she was diagnosed with degenerative disk disease and scoliosis. She was struggling with her mobility at that time and I remember saying, “If this helps my Mom I’ll tell the world about it.” My Mom lost over 15lbs her first challenge and had better mobility than she had months prior and better energy!! She went on that first year to lose 70lbs and 65 inches and maintained it for a year and half now. Today, she still enjoys her 40% discount and she is happy as just a product lover in our team! She was the first person I truly saw Advocare had a major impact on.

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As Milton and I gained product belief within that first week of being on products, we felt that others were missing out not knowing what Advocare had to offer. We started to be more intentional with reaching out to those of our past and sharing the message of health and hope. In our first two months we had made 4x the amount of income Milton was making working 6 days a week at the gym. That’swhen we started to see Advocare was a true business model and a work program. And we knew how to work hard and talk to people! My husband quit his job at the gym at that time and started to pursue our Advocare business part time from home. I then became pregnant with my second daughter that winter. I started watching my husband and daughter be home together every day, and I knew I was going to want to be home too when the baby came in September of 2013. We got focused and worked very hard that first year. We helped a ton of families with product results and through that process we found families that were hungry for more just like us.

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11.5 months into Advocare I had replaced my income at the hospital and was able to step away from my nursing career and come home to be a MOM first. We had reached the Ruby leadership level at that time and were averaging $6,500/ month at that time. This allowed us to be home and present in both of our daughter’s lives & especially baby Rowyn’s first year we were able to be there for every step and milestone. We didn’t have to miss out on holidays, birthday parties, and first steps like we did with Jade. This last year being home Advocare allowed me to be with my family for the first time on Easter, and Christmas Eve. Advocare has given us the freedom to design our days around our girls and live a life by design. We have also been able to go on vacations with our team to Florida, Gatlinburg, & Dale Hollow last year. This year we have plans to go to Tulum, Mexico, Disney World & the Caribbean all because of Advocare!

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Today, 2.5 years into Advocare, we just reached a major milestone at the “Emerald” Leadership level in the world of Advocare! This represents lots of FAMILIES on our team that we are helping experience the same type of time & financial freedom that we are! This last month alone we earned over $13,000 and it continues to grow month by month! And while money is not the motive as it was in the beginning, money gives us CHOICES and opportunities that we never would have had before Advocare.

My husband and I are more in shape and healthier than we’ve ever been. When you believe in Advocare physically and financially 100% like we do, it becomes part of you and we now have a “pay it forward” mentality. It is more fulfilling than I can explain to help people reclaim their health, gain their confidence back, bring moms home to their kids, pay off debt, or come home from a job they didn’t feel they were making a difference in. We have ordinary people that we are leading to freedom in our team: police officers, nurses, EMTs, real estate, farmers, coaches, trainers, factory workers, stay at home moms, a stay at home grandma (to watch her grand babies), a stay at home dad, college students, college athletes, nurse practitioners, teachers, gym owners, and many many more… pursuing Advocare as a business in our team right now, because they desire MORE for their family. More time, more income, more debt freedom, more vacations, more giving back to their community, & simply more CHOICES in life!!

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This picture says a lot. 82% of Americans hate what they do. 60% of working Americans drop a child off at daycare every day. Indiana is the 8th largest state in the nation. And every 6 seconds someone starts a home- based business. Advocare provides solutions for health and finances.

If any of this hits home with you, I would love to connect with you and show you the power of what these products and opportunity could possibly be for you and your family.
“If nothing changes, nothing changes.”
– Chelsea Redwine, Independent Advocare Distributor

Sites to look at:
www.advocare.com/24daychallenge
www.advocare.com/elite
www.workwithchampions.com

Contact Info:
Email: mcredwine.advocare@gmail.com
Chelsea: 765-413-1507
Milton: 574-309-1869
www.advocare.com/120827148
“We Build Champions”

Feature Friday: Danielle Morales with InJoy Photography

It’s Friiiiidayyyyyy! That seems to be the only day that you can count on me making an appearance here on the blog. And truthfully, we all know that I have the easy part because I’m really sharing this space with some amazing friends! Since sharing is always better than going it alone, I don’t feel badly. ;) Today I’ve asked my friend, Danielle Morales, a beautiful family and child natural-light photographer from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to come and introduce herself to you. You all– I’m not even kidding, her work is jaw-dropping gorgeous– keep scrolling if you don’t believe me. If you live up in my favorite part of the state {no offense, Lafayette} then you should definitely follow her Facebook page and book a session as soon as you possibly can! 

Hello everyone! I am so excited to be featured on the blog today, and so honored that Kirsten asked me to guest post. I am a homeschooling mom to 4 children, which is my first and most important job. My children range in age from 13 months to 11 years. I remember when my husband bought me my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D40. It was then that I started to love photography. For years I took so many pictures of my children {all that practice is definitely one of the best things you can do to improve}, but I never dreamed that one day I would own a business.

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Thanks to the encouragement of others who saw my potential, I began entertaining the idea while teaching myself even more about the technical side of photography, as well as editing, and upgraded my gear. Soon InJoy Photography was born {You can find me on Facebook by clicking here}, and I started my first fall in business even busier than I would have dreamed! I have now been in business for over two years, and it has been such a blessing to have a creative outlet that I absolutely love and which makes me feel so alive.

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My main focus is family and child photography, though recently I have also started offering boudoir for married and engaged women as well, which is another thing I never imagined myself doing! What I love about boudoir is that these women come in, feeling nervous and maybe a little insecure as many of us women often feel about ourselves, and after getting primped and pampered by the hair stylist and makeup artist, and being shocked at how how beautiful they look as I show them the first few images on the back of my camera, they walk away having had a great time and a boost to their confidence. I am so excited to deliver their images to them and to hear their amazement at how truly beautiful they are! I love giving that gift to women, and as a bonus, their husband’s receive a surprise gift that they really love as well!

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During the warmer months here in Indiana (or in the colder ones if you’re adventurous!), I shoot family and child portraits. My style is natural light, outdoor photography in a natural setting (though I sometimes have fun with a change of pace shooting in a more urban setting, particularly with seniors!) such as a beautiful park, a field of tall grass, or an apple orchard in the fall. I also love to add a touch of vintage whenever I can! I work best when I can take time to be inspired by my surroundings. It’s not uncommon that towards the end of a session, I will be hit with another dose of inspiration that I did not see before and just have to squeeze in a few more shots! With each family I try to take as much time as the children will allow to ensure we get some great shots. And since little children often do not like to sit still for long, I often tell parents just to let me follow them around as they play and explore, and that gives us some great, natural-looking smiles and facial expressions. Whenever possible, I also shoot an hour an a half before sunset for that golden sunny glow. Seriously, every sunny day, starting about one and half to two hours before sunset, I get almost giddy with the beauty of the light. That is another thing I love about photography: training yourself to see the beauty in everyday things, things many people probably don’t even notice.

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To anyone who would like to take up photography as a hobby and perhaps someday as a business, my words of advice are practice, practice, practice! There is so much to learn via the internet now, and some of my favorite photography sites are Click It Up a Notch, Rock the Shot, Clickin’ Moms, and Pretty Presets for Lightroom. Also, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is an excellent book to read if you’d like to begin learning about photography. If you have been taking pictures on your DSLR for some time now, don’t be afraid to take the next step and move that dial into manual mode. I promise, it’s not as hard as you may think! And if you’ve already done that, and if you have editing software such as Photoshop or Lightroom (which is what I use for all of my editing), move from shooting in JPEG to shooting in RAW, and you will take your pictures up a notch even further! Continuous learning and practicing is the key to success.

 

Sooo cute! Essential Oil Zip Pouches by Lil’ Alice

Hi! I am Katy, the creator and designer behind lil’ alice. I am so excited to be on Lovespun Studio, thank you Kirsten!  First let me tell you a little about myself.  I am a daughter of the King, I am the lucky lady to my husband, Rich, of 17 years.  I have two fabulous boys.  Zakkery is 15 + Jeremiah is 12…..13 in July!  I love the teenage years.  They are so much fun!  So mother’s of tots….you will survive and they will gain independence!  It’s a beautiful (eh scary) thing….but I am learning to embrace each step.lil’ alice is my baby….

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In 2010 I started teaching myself to sew, posted pics on FB and people wanted to buy the things I was making.  Funny thing is, they weren’t for sale.  I was just making an apron for myself.  Through the years I have made and created many things.  Some of my creations were huge hits and some were not!

One my creations that was a huge hit in 2014 was an Essential Oil Zip Pouch!  In March, alady at church asked me to make her something to hold her oils in besides herlil’ plasticbaggie.  I am a lover of fabrics and so I knew I could create cuteness.  On the way home from church, my mind was creating and that afternoon I had created a zip pouch to hold her oils.  I used items that I already had sitting on my shelves.  I had simply altered a zip pouch that I was already making.  Even though the first was not sized right, because I didn’t have an oil for sizing as I made it, the second one was perfect.After giving her the adorable zip pouch to hold her oils, and after she told me how much she loved it, I put it onEtsy to see what it would do.  Ummmmmm…. it was a hit!  Orders came in consistently from to thru the rest of 2014.Once it was up on Etsy, it dawned on my to search Etsy and see what my competition was.  Surprisingly there wasn’t any.  The essential oil pouch is made of a laminated cotton on the outside.  Laminated cotton fabric is similar to what is used for rain coats.  It’s waterproof and therefore it won’t leak if an oil spills on the inside.  The inside is a cotton fabric and it has elastic on both sides.  The elastic has stitching that makes “holders” to hold up to 8 oils.  There’s still room in the middle for another oil or two along with cotton balls.

My big purchase for the business going into 2015 was an embroidery machine.  I scored it on Cyber Monday!  Now the essential oil zip pouches can be personalized with a name, word of the year, or simply Essential Oils!

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 You all!!! For real? Aren’t these sweet? Please head over and check out Lil’ Alice at the following links! FB/TWITTER/PINTEREST/ETSYJust because I love you. And because Katy of Lil’ Alice is so doggone sweet, she graciously sent me an oil pouch to use for my EOs AND she sent along an extra one that I can share with you! Sooooo…would you all do a couple of things to enter to win one for yourself? All that I ask is that you leave a comment and tell me your favorite essential oil right now and what you use it for. Then go show a bit of Lil’Alice love via Facebook, Twitter, or Etsy! That’s it. Easy peasy.
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doTerra essential oils ~ Click here for more info

Katy~ Thank you SO much for visiting the blog today! What a blessing you are! :D

Visit Me at the 52 Quilters Blog

Hey hey hey– happy Monday! Was anyone else entirely disappointed in the dud of a snow “storm” that we didn’t get this weekend? Man, I was TOTALLY hoping for a “sleep in” day on Monday. {Edited to add: We had a 2 hour delay this morning so I DID get to sleep in! YAY} Sigh. I guess I just need to shake it off and move on. So that’s what we’re going to do today.

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It’s a new week and despite quite a few items on my “to make happen” list, one of the things that I’ve been so excited to share with you is that I’m being featured this week on the 52Quilters blog! I will be pirating 52 Quilters blog, Instagram and Twitter accounts over there for the entire week. Despite the fact that I’m a bit of an erratic sewist and I really can’t be called a quilter {because I almost never take the time to quilt}, but I love fabric so this is going to be fun! It might even prompt me to pull out fabric beyond my Zippy-making if I happen to have time this week. However, I make no guarantees.

Please hop on over and visit me there and take a peek at the awesome folks who contributed to weeks 1, 2, 3 & 4. Have a fantastic Monday!