I truly cannot believe it is March of 2016. Time is flying. I wish it would slow down although I am eager for warm sun beating on my skin in Chicago!
I thought I would share my first 'Bits & Bites' of 2016! From all of your feedback at the end of last year, most of you really appreciate the B&B blogs! I personally love writing them because they are a peak into my fast paced mind which tends to house so many thoughts & ideas per minute!
First, I wanted to share some links to the companies I have my eye on this year! These are corporations that are changing the world in tech, social justice, agricultural & animal advocacy! You can simply click on each company to read about them yourself if any interest you: Sama Impact, Sama School, Laxmi, Mud Love, Love Does & Beagle Freedom Project.
I have soaked up every bit of knowledge & education that I possibly can from Leila Janah who is just so brilliant! Leila is the resourceful genius behind Sama Source!
I believe - as a society - that we are in this perpetual state of 'movement' & 'achieving' without many actually achieving anything at all but 'busyness'. We are a society - as a whole - that 'talks' and doesn't want to get dirty & uncomfortable as we climb mountains. Because climbing mountains requires falling down, tripping up, failing, facing fears and requires a soul filled grit that is painful. Climbing mountains requires strategy, discipline & commitment. So when I personally encounter those that are actually changing the world. I pay attention to them - I study them - I get educated by them - and I want to be a part of what they are doing! I set out to emulate them.
What I learned from Lelia is that it's critically important to take time out - months or even a year if necessary - to study, get educated, research, learn, get knowledgeable at your craft & fully prepare before 'executing'. I particularly appreciate this interview with Leila Janah 'here'.
I am also learning that the only way we all truly grow is in community. Being in community has changed my entire life. Community has shed light on God, self love, love for others and love for our environment. Being in community has changed the way I date, befriend others and how I live day to day. Community.....'Safe Community' has me seeing through a lens that I never thought I would. I am transformed - changed - permanently. And I realize the power we all have to change lives when we all put our hands on deck. We can all be doing so much good in this world 'together' if we just make the extra effort -take the extra step - look outside of ourselves and INVEST! There is SO much to do! None of the companies I mentioned could be where they are today if it weren't for community. No way.
I really loved how Jennie Allen said it "Use your gifts- somehow, some way, anywhere, any time. Forget about size or impact or reach'.
Finally, I really recommend gathering every passion you have - every interest - every single aspect of life that 'makes you feel alive' - all of it - all of the people too that create that energy in you to strive for greater heights - and write it all on a big poster board. And study that page. You will start to see how God is threading your passions & people together for your calling in life! I learned this through the book Restless by Jennie Allen & Donald Miller's LifePlan! It's fun and kind of fascinating to see it all in writing. Light bulbs start going off as to your God given purpose here!
This life is SO short! Your twenties, thirties, forties and onward go by 'just-like-that' - it's a beautiful blur! Please stop waiting for 'one day' and let that 'one day' be NOW! Use your gifts now - take the risk NOW - and take that leap of faith NOW!
Enjoy your week!
P.S. The New Nutrition Stripped Cookbook is coming out! McKel Hill is KILLING IT in the health & wellness arena! She is the one to watch!
All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Happy Friday folks!! We made it! I don't know about you but, this week has been an absolute whirlwind so, I am ready for a very relaxing weekend w/ loved ones. I am thinkin' movies, books, blankets & naps are all on the agenda!
Today we are doing something a bit different on Snapshots of Wellness. I don't think I have ever talked about gift giving on the blog before. I personally love giving & receiving gifts that are well thought out & personalized specifically to a loved ones taste, needs & lifestyle. I also lean towards gifts that enhance an individuals health & wellness!
So today, you are all going to sit in on a coffee date that I am hosting with Eugennie Yoon, Owner of Honor & Grace! Eugennie is also the Curator of the popular & whimsical Etsy Shop, Honor & Grace. Eugennie hand makes the most beautiful & intricate Honor & Grace quits for little ones. And so much love, time, care and creativity goes into each quilt style, pattern & design.
I'll let Eugennie fill you on what Honor & Grace is all about but, if you have a baby or toddler and/or know someone with a baby or toddler (which we all do), you'll want to join us! Grab a cup of coffee & let's get started below:
Are you ready for your heart to melt? I thought I'd share a photograph of Eugennie w/ her two adorable daughters, Avery Honor & Olivia Grace, so you can 'see' who she actually is along with the cutie pie inspirations for this business venture, Honor & Grace!
Hi Eugennie! Thank you so much for joining us and sharing all about Honor & Grace with my readers. So would you mind telling SW readers a bit about how Honor & Grace came to fruition?
I’ve always loved making things. It’s so satisfying. But in this particular season of life as a stay-at-home mom with 2 young children, “making things” is relatively limited to quick meals, simple art projects with the girls, and the occasional Pinterest “experiment.”
In the spring and fall of 2015 we experienced back-to-back family losses & it was pretty natural for me to turn to “making things” as a source of comfort, a relief from mourning, and a way to get my mind thinking about other things, hopeful things, creative things. In my loss I was more keenly attuned to all of the wonderful blessings in my life. I was especially thankful for the support of my loving husband and for my 2 beautiful and joyful daughters who are daily reminders of how precious and miraculous life is.
So, I decided to open a shop on Etsy selling handmade, customizable baby quilts. Why baby quilts--because I wanted to celebrate the miracle that a baby represents and I also wanted to create warm and beautiful blankets to wrap around these amazing little bundles of delight. I started making quilts almost 20 years ago and returning to that craft brought me solace. I found the process of selecting the fabrics, creating a pattern, cutting the pieces, and sewing them together to be both therapeutic to my soul and a challenging and sharpening activity for my mind. Each quilt that I create is thoughtfully designed, in pattern and fabric, and lovingly stitched with precision and care. I love making these quilts and I’m excited to share them with others.
Clearly, these quilts are made with such care, heart, thought & love. How long does it take you to make one?
It usually takes me around 5-7 days to make a quilt, depending on the intricacy of the design. I generally plan the design and select fabrics on Day 1, cut the fabric on Day 2, sew pieces together on Days 3 and 4 (and 5 and 6 for a more complex design), then sew the “sandwich” of quilt front, batting, and quilt backing together on the last day.
How do you choose the palette and patterns for each child?
Because each of my quilts is made-to-order, I work with the customer to decide on the design and colors for the quilt. I ask questions about colors and themes in the nursery, whether a traditional or more modern/contemporary design is preferred, and other interests or details that could be incorporated. For example I made a quilt a few months ago where the parents of the baby were big foodies. I was able to find a fun food truck fabric to use as the backing--it worked out really great!
Did you always have an artistic & creative mind?
I’ve always loved making things--whether it was as a 4 year-old rolling out homemade noodles with my grandmother, or the lamp I made in 6th grade shop, or the teacups I made in my high school pottery class--there is such a wonderful feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment in working hard to make something and then taking a step back to appreciate the fruits of your labor.
Do you make quilts for adults?
I have made larger quilts for the beds in our home, but I generally don’t make them to sell to others--it just takes too long. However, if someone were looking for a smallish lap quilt for the couch or a chair, I could easily do that.
I shared my perspective (above) on how giving a loved one a personalized handmade gift contributes to our overall wellness. What are your thoughts on that?
I think a handmade gift is so special in that the recipient knows that there was a bit more thought and care in choosing the item. Because these quilts are made specifically for each customer I’m able to incorporate unique colors, special memories, or even custom fabrics. One customer asked if I could use the fabric from her twin sons’ coming home outfits in their quilts--what a special way to create a keepsake for her baby boys. And because such lovely memories can be incorporated into the gift, it definitely contributes to the overall wellness of the recipient and the giver!
If someone wants to purchase a quilt, what's their first step? How can they contact you?
Come visit my Etsy shop--https://www.etsy.com/shop/honorandgrace
I have a number of different designs listed, but I can certainly work with a customer to create a unique design if he or she has something specific in mind. After the order is placed, I’ll reach out to the customer to determine color scheme, design, etc., and once those details have been finalized, work begins on the quilt.
I personally love the purpose & heart behind Honor & Grace. There is so much God driven purpose and integrity behind your business venture. Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Oh gosh, I would hardly call myself an entrepreneur--I like to try things, figure things out, grow things, make things, but making a business of it is not natural for me. There are so many aspects of a business that I need help figuring out, but I’m taking a step in faith, and so far it’s been such an amazing and humbling learning experience.
What is your ultimate vision for Honor & Grace?
I would just love for an Honor & Grace quilt to be a special memento for a baby and his or her family--something that celebrates the tenderness of a new life and brings comfort to the baby. I also hope that as my girls watch and sometimes help me work on these quilts that they would be inspired to explore and reflect their own creativity in ways that bring life to their souls.
Eugennie, thank you so much for sharing so much about Honor & Grace! I think a handmade personalized cozy Honor & Grace quilt for a newborn or toddler is truly an ideal gift. It will remain a keepsake for the rest of that child's life. And they can pass it along to their own children one day or the quilt can be used to swaddle every newborn coming into a family! This entire venture of yours is just so special.
Everyone, if you'd like to have an Honor & Grace quilt made for any little ones in your life, you can contact you Eugennie at any of her social media handles:
Honor & Grace Etsy Shop
Honor & Grace Facebook Page
Honor & Grace Instagram
Eugennie Yoon resides in the city of Chicago with her husband, Markus and their two adorable children- Avery and Olivia - with another baby on the way! Eugennie is the owner of start-up venture, Honor & Grace, and the curator of the Honor & Grace Etsy Shop. She loves entertaining, creating, baking, gardening, and especially being a wife and mother.
However fast ONE of you can read this blog & then follow the GIVEAWAY instructions in the last paragraph (below), will be how quickly you get a copy of 2nd Edition THRIVE FITNESS by Brendan Brazier.
This is 'that one book' that - a year from now - will be all beat up, highlighted, notes taken all over it, pages ripped out, etc. In other words, it'll be a book that has been 'referred to' and the concepts 'used' in your life. My prediction is, it's not going to 'sit on a shelf'.
Before we even talk about 2nd Edition Thrive Fitness, let's just all get familiar with Brendan Brazier. Do you know him? Have you heard of him? You're welcome to head straight to his website to learn all about him but, since you're here (smile).....
Brendan Brazier is the 'formulator' and co-founder of VEGA. He had me at 'Formulator', how about you? To formulate what is deemed as one of the highest quality plant based smoothie formula's on the market....is impressive. And note, I absolutely love Vega products (daily) because combined quality & taste is the best nutrition I can feed my body. Nothing else compares in the marketplace....in my opinion...nothing- even -comes -close.
Oh...P.S. He developed this formula for a plant based smoothie WHILE running ironman triathlons professionally. And now....Vega is available in over 20,000 stores across the U.S. and Canada. Wow.
You would think that would be enough for one man's career, eh? Brendan, you slay.
Brendan Brazier is the bestselling author of the Thrive book series, creator and host of the Thrive Forward web series, and editor in chief of Thrive magazine. He’s also a former professional Ironman triathlete and a two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion. Brendan is regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on plant-based performance nutrition, and therefore works with several NHL, NFL, MLB, UFC, and Olympic athletes. Brendan now invests in and works with socially responsible food & tech companies whose mandate is to fix our food system and reduce the environmental strain of food production.
So, when you open your copy of Thrive Fitness (2nd Edition - I don't know if I need to keep repeating that it's 2nd Edition but, this book is part of a series), you know you are gaining advice, perspective, knowledge & a full blown 'system' that lead to a healthier and more fit YOU from a man who is one of the most sought out nutritional/fitness experts in the entire country!
The forward of the book is written by Venus Williams & other top athletes (in the world) have weighed in that Thrive Fitness "is the blueprint for achieving optimum performance and living a clean and healthy existence. I've incorporated all of Brendan's principles into my training and I've never felt healthier and stronger." - Mike Bryan (Olympic Gold Medalist, World No. 1 ranked doubles tennis player). The feedback from professional athletes is staggering (and shared for you to read yourself in the first pages of Thrive Fitness).
So the same strategy that Venus Williams is using to enhance her wellness game on and off the court, you can use in your life. Honestly, this book is a ridiculous financial steal. People pay hundreds of dollars (thousands) for the advice and insight that Brendan is giving away in this book for what, 16.99? It's on Amazon for like 12.00. Unreal. Just unreal.
Brendan, if you are reading and want advice from a Chicago blogger (smiling), mark UP that book price dude! You're basically personally coaching everyone who purchases your book.....for 12.00. Everyone, jump on this!
Let me share a quick overview of what this book is about and some thoughts of mine:
Thrive Fitness is absolutely for everyone........all of you: If you have never worked out a day in your life, if you have no intentions of working out, if you are an avid marathon runner, a professional athlete, a pro who thinks you have it all figured out (wink) or someone who is just now diving into a healthier lifestyle yet maybe doesn't know how to get to your 'next level' of peak health.....folks, this book is for ya!
Next, from my perspective, Thrive Fitness covers every single aspect of health from food, mind, body, spirit. I mean, he covers it all...strategically.... with a specific 'Thrive Fitness' system that leaves you - the reader - with zero guess work as to where to begin. He doesn't just 'walk you through the process', he provides you with the tools so you will 'understand' the process of how to fuel your body & mind for peak mental and physical strength. Thrive Fitness covers proper nutrition that will fuel your body for increased functionality and performance in your daily life and that's just a 'portion' of what he covers.
Brendan provides Thrive Fitness fitness exercises demonstrated (by him) in the pages of the book and you'll need zero exercise equipment to complete them. Get ready for sculpted muscles, greater energy, better sleep, less body fat, sharpened mental clarity and overall, you'll be minimizing your chance of disease (or this will help you climb out of a diseased body).
Brendan provides Training & Nutritional logs, Recipes, Photographs of 'Step-by-Step' Exercises and a really insightful 'Questions & Answers' section where he answers a series of readers of questions (I imagine the most common).
Thrive Fitness is a LIFESTYLE. It's a shift in lifestyle enabling you to show up in life as the 'healthiest version of you'. Thrive Fitness is the blueprint for you to change your life and/or enhance your life to be the healthiest version of yourself - mind, body, spirit - that you can be. And you DO want that for yourself, right?
So who want's a copy....FOR FREE????? I decided to make this giveaway SO SIMPLE b/c simple is fun and I'm SO over those crazy long IG giveaways where you are running around clicking on 100 IG's for an hour (I know you all know exactly what I am talking about - haha)!
Here is how to get your FREE copy!! Go to my Instagram and under the photo I shared tonight w/ a copy of Thrive Fitness, be the FIRST to let us know why you want this free copy while also sharing a tidbit from THIS blog post. Copy Brendan & Vega: @brendan_brazier, @vega_team with Hashtag #ThriveFitness, You'll be mailed a brand new copy stat!
Thrive Fitness is a lifestyle, not merely a program. It's gains go way beyond fitness - Brendan Brazier
Hi everyone! It's been months! Happy New Year to all of you!!
I almost have no idea where to begin because....oh, the vastness of it all.
The cornerstone of 'Snapshots of Wellness' has been to very literally capture 'Snapshots' - a view through my lens - of wellness. And 'Wellness', by definition, evolves. Wellness 'expands' along with our level of commitment to being educated & involved in our own health journey as well as the well being of others.
Creatively, I started this blog sharing the importance of eating organic leafy greens, movement/fitness & how to incorporate more nature into your life. I then branched into holistic health and the enormous arsenal of 'aids' to heal the body (Essential Oils, Herbs, Supplements, etc.). And then, SW expanded yet again into how each of us can give back to those in need - how each of us can best serve others & be a voice for the voiceless. The year after this, all of you started to read more and more about my faith in God and who Jesus is. And then finally came the radical concept of living in 'community'.
Do you recognize that evolution? It's all related to 'wellness'. It's peeling back layers & layers of 'healthy living' that all lead to a deeper and deeper 'purpose'.
For me, that purpose is continually answering the following question in every single circumstance 'Will this decision glorify God or will it not"? For you, that purpose can be entirely different.
Where am I taking SW next? We are going to do our deepest dive to date into how we can participate in making this fragile earth a place for all of us to flourish!! This year will be all about taking utter leaps of faith - massive risk taking - into transforming the lives of others & thus, allowing God to change our own in the process. And this change starts with 'each of our hearts'.
We will kick off being back with a fab GIVEAWAY! I will be giving away a copy of Brendan Brazier's new book, Thrive Fitness (2nd edition). It's fantastic! I'll chat with all of you more about the book next week & then it's gifting time! If you want that copy, tune into SW on Monday the 22rd!
God Bless, glad to be back with all of you & find the joy this week!
Created and curated by Kelly, Snapshots of Wellness encourages all of you to cultivate your 'joie de vivre': Compassion for Animals via food, style & lifestyle.