Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Meet Erin Stewart

This one is very personal to me.  Having met Erin about 5 1/2 years ago, I knew she was special.  She fell in love with one of my best friends and they got married.  I have enjoyed getting to know her over these past years and love that I consider her "family".  My husband and her husband have been best friends since high school and have supported each other through thick and thin since.  Now, she is a mom of three, a wife to a hard working man who is living with leukemia and getting her business off the ground.  Meet Erin Stewart of www.erinstewart.com .  She conducts interviews with CEOs of major companies and other entrepreneurs. 

*What made you want to work with other entrepreneurs?
-  I didn't really grow up in a family of entrepreneurs.  My parents and siblings have the "go to school, get an education, get a job" mindset.  There is nothing wrong with that, we need folks who are willing to work for others.  but I found out through several years and several jobs that I didn't' fit that mold.  I wanted to create something. It took me a long time to figure out what.  And even now that I know what I want to do, I still have ides about other ventured or products and my husband will have to rein me back in to help keep me focused.  I think non stop about business.  I even dream about business.  So I love the idea of rubbing shoulders with people who think like I do, who want to create things and put their heart and soul into it and put it out there in the marketplace. 

*What is your background in business?
-I took a few entrepreneurial classes, but that is about it. I've learned through doing it, and I am still learning. I don't think I will ever be done learning.  I started my life as an entrepreneur in 2007 and have been on a roller coaster of ups and downs, but I'd rather be doing this than punching a clock.

*In this society, we moms feel a lot of pressure.  What are some of the pressures you feel when juggling mommy-hood and your business?
-Whew.  Juggling life as an entrepreneur and life as a wife, mother and home maker is difficult.  I have three kids: 31/2, 2, and a baby that is a few months old.  I often find myself ignoring or at least miss prioritizing one thing or another.  It used to be a matter of not having a calendar and dedicating time to work, and time for my family and I know I have to pout it down at a certain time to start on dinner or the kids won't get to bed on time.  I'm still working out kinks in the schedule, especially with a newborn, but I'm more productive now, and feel like I have more quality time with my family and am more productive because of making the calendar.

*What is the best remedy for your to shut out the world and regroup your inner-self?
- this is my biggest weakness.  I don't think I've done something to recoup for years. I went through quite a lot in the last few years and just have not taken the time to enjoy the things I used to.  Which is actually really ironic because I have a bachelors degree in recreation and in know the importance of getting out and doing what you love to regroup and strengthen yourself and your resolve.  but with having three kids, starting a business, having my husband laid off from his job and get cancer within two weeks of each other, and a few other trials, I don't' feel like I've had time (or more accurately MADE time) to go out and play.  Now that he is in remission (miracles happen!) and life is a little back to normal, I have taken a few weekends off- we've gone camping and on a few road trips which were greatly needed.  Another difficulty for me to get out and do things I love that help me regroup...I don't have horses.  I worked with horses for 5/6 years- I even have a degree in horsemanship- and I love to ride and train horses.  but when we got married we didn't have the space or the means to won a horse.  It's about time to get back in the saddle.

*What's on your Netflix?
-How it's Made.  As a entrepreneur/inventor that shouldn't surprise you!  I like watching Dirty Jobs too. But the girl in me likes North and South and Heartland.

*What is the best piece of advise you have received in life that you can share with our readers?
-two things:
 1. Quit if you want to; there are a million other things of value you could be doing. 
 2. Don't live in the past.  Slap yourself on the forehead, roll your eyes, say "what was I thinking?" then move on.  Mistakes are made, but they don't define you.  Your thoughts and actions do, so think good about yourself and do good unto all.

Wow she is inspiring isn't she?  She is a blessing in my life and I am so glad I know her and we have our businesses in common.  Make sure you head to her site and see what else she has in store.  HERE.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

An Inspiration to us all...Be The Change Stories part 2

Here are some other stories to help get you thinking about your life and the things that really matter.  Feel free to email me anytime you would like to share a story and have it featured.  Bellapiadesigns@yahoo.com 

-@eunicechavez said: I want to nominate my cousin.  She is 16 and just moved back to AZ. She is currently living with a relative, because her parents aren't stable enough to provide a home for her and her sister.  In the past couple years she moved about 5 times, this being  the 3rd different school she has had to attend..  On top of it all, she always has a smile on her face and never complains.  She wears her heart on her sleeve and is such a selfless person!  She has on numerous occasions, used the little cash she had to surprise me with my favorite candy or a Starbucks drink,, just because.  Sweestest person ever!  She just started school at a new high school and didn't et to go back to school shopping so I know her and her sister would appreciate very much store credit to your shop and any other spoiling that she deserves!

-denissa_sweetandsimplelife said: I want to nominate @jenni_roseland.  She is an IG friend turned real life friend ;).  She is always so positive and encouraging to all her followers. She started a health journey and has done AMAZING all the while encouraging others, being a wonderful wife, mom and teacher!  She has suffered from migraines and still does all that she can.  She truly inspires me!  She has one of those smiles that lights up a picture. :D 

Thanks y'all!  xoxo

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Say a Little Prayer. There is no prayer too small.

My sweet Bella.  She is the middle child, the pleaser, the brown noser, the little mother, the "good" child".  And with all that sweetness we have found a couple things about her health that so many of you I am sure have found with your own children.  Food Allergies or Intolerances.  When we discovered her lactose intolerance issue I was fine with it.  We could all use a little less dairy and cut it out once you find out what all the bad stuff that is in it just to get it processed in all the many different yummy ways we eat it.  Plus Greyson's eczema issue is triggered by dairy.  If I have had this conversation with one of you then you know you have heard me say this, "I would freakin die if I had to be a label reader and buy my kids special foods".  :Yep I have said that many of times. 
After dealing with her lactose problem and eve buying the lactaid pills for her to take when there are moments we cant avoid (all ice-cream shops need to offer dairy free options, now days there is practically one in every family.  Baskin n Robbins only has 1 sorbet. ONE!  and it is daiquiri ice.  YUCK even adults don't eat that sh*t) anyway, the pills have worked.  But then we started noticing that her tummy hurts anyway.  Husband and I started even rolling our eyes anytime she would tell us she had a hurt stomach.  How bad is that?  Like it was her fault.  I know, we suck.  Dave even said one time that it was in her head.  I disagreed to that and just told her that maybe she just has gas.  She does.  A lot.  lol  That's just my family for ya.  Dave had no idea what he married when I let one rip for the first time.  lol. 
I started talking to my dear friend who has chosen a gluten free diet for herself when I started questioning if her problems were a result of her eating wheat.  I took it upon myself to once again research it a little.  Just like my friend said, Bella's stomach is in knots cause the wheat is tearing it up and it is inflamed, resulting in her aches and pains, her diarrhea and her gas.  I talked to Dave and he gave me the go.  I bought some gluten free basics so we could do a tester for a few days and see how she reacted.  She was completely GF for 3 days and there were no tummy aches, no pepto pills to be taken cause her bathroom issue.  She didn't complain at all.  Then I had made something in our dinner that contained wheat of some sort.  I can't remember what it was but she was in tears going to bed that night with her stomach hurting.  I felt horrible.  What was I doing to my poor baby?  I thought that one little bit of what I gave her was going to be fine, but she wasn't.  I felt so bad and held her in bed while she cried.  I said a special prayer with her.  I asked the Lord that he would guide me and help me make better conscious food decisions for her.  I started to cry a little in my prayer as I could here her turning in her bed holding her stomach.
  My next day's activities consisted of grocery shopping again so I went to Sprouts.  Bella and Greyson accompanied me and our Sprouts trips are usually quick cause the store is small.  We went through everything on our list and decided to ask the stocker lady where we could buy already made bakery GF stuff.  She was right there un packing it.  She showed me the best sandwich bread and some tortillas and such.  I was so grateful to her.  I turned to Bella with a happy voice and said "Bella you can EAT now!!"  as soon as I said that little tears had come to my eyes.  I had tried making stuff on my own but it was so gross and was sad that she was going to have to "get used to it".  We walked away and headed to the checkout line.  That same lady came up to me with an armful of GF brownies and cookies individually packaged and said some sweet words to me.  I started crying again cause I was so grateful.  I know how expensive that stuff is and this just gave us a little treat cushion for her when we have treats throughout the week after dinner.  Right then I had realized that my little prayer from the night before was answered.  I explained to Bella and she recognized it too.  I was sooo happy and comforted.  She enjoyed her sandwich that day without the tummy ache.
I know that the Lord is aware of us.  Especially of those who are so dependent on others like Bella is of me.  She has no other choice. She wouldn't survive if she had no one to cook for her.  He helped me help her. 
  Now I turn to  you.  How have you coped with this GF world?  What are some things you learned and what recipes do you love?  Please leave a comment or shoot me an email. bellapiadesigns@yahoo.com.  Thank you!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


  That time is year is here where all things spooky just make me so happy and melt my heart.  Have you ever met someone with such a love and passion for Halloween?  I have almost met my match with my brother in law who also shares my love for Halloween and going all out with the decorations.  Some day Eric, You can I will be together and create the most amazing haunt EVERRR!!!  I have done a few Haunted Houses and let me tell ya.  It is one of the funnest things to be a part of and better...be in charge of.  I often have to remind people that I am a normal Mormon mother of 3 who just happens to be in love with all things spooky, haunting and scary.  That's normal right?  Right! 

  So here is a look back on some props I have done.  I have learned to love paper mache and realized you can do just about anything with it!!  Some of these have tutorials so feel free to click on over to see how I did them.  I do enjoy making everything from start to finish.  I am one who hates spending too much time on a craft, but this.  This people, I can spend hours.  I enjoy using things from the house to make amazing props.  It doesn't have to be expensive.  Now that I have made some pretty awesome props, I feel let down when I go to the Spirit Store.  Their props are just so unrealistic and the money is enough to make anyone jump their grave and run. 

  Since I have no show in October, I plan on haunting my house/yard out to the extreme and feature some new props!  If you want to see what I really love head to my Halloween board HERE.  Disclaimer:::There are some scare images so if you are one to surf pinterest with your little, don't invite her to see my board.  She WILL have nightmares.  ALSO I do enjoy scaring people.  Little kids too, but I don't take it too far...I always reveal myself after I scare someone.  And as far as my children my girls love it.  They know I love this and they enjoy helping me with props.  If you don't like it then move on.  Don't look at my Pinterest feed for the month of October or unfollow my Halloween Board.  Don't leave rude comments.  Thank you.


My Grudge Chick (this is a link to my facebook for a video.  Hopefully it will work! Basically I did another paper mache mask and painted it for hours to get the detail right.)

This is about as "cute-sie" I get with d├ęcor.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Meet Alisa the inspiration

A while back I was feeling inspired by the so many special people around me so I hosted a special giveaway.  Remember?  When I asked you to nominate someone who gave everything they had when they hardly had anything themselves.  Do you know someone who always has a smile on their face even when times are tough?  Remember that one?  I read through so many nominations it was hard to pick.  I would like to share a few of them with you today.  Thy all deserve to be heard.  They are all inspiring.  I am going to do several posts with these inspirational nominations until they all have been heard.  There are so many that would be one long blog post.

Here is the winner I chose.  All the stories were wonderful but for some reason I couldn't shake this one out of my head at the time.  I even dreamt about her.  Here is her story:
 -@steph2ortiz said: Alisa is a very close family friend of mine.  She is a single mom to three girls.  She  used to work as a pediatric nurse in the cancer unit.  After seeing pictures of her and her patients, I know they looked at her like their own mommy.  She has struggles with kidney failure since she was a young girl herself she was been through countless kidney surgeries in and out of the hospital day in and day out. Over six months ago she had her only remaining kidney removed and with that was promised a new kidney within 8 weeks now over o8 months later she still has no kidney and is struggling to survive living off of dialysis.  She basically lives in the hospital because dialysis makes her so ill.  Every time she gets ready for a transplant something happens such as a serious infection in her body blood clots on the lungs and various other things that keep pushing her back.  Tuesday night she received a phone call that she would no longer be eligible for a transplant in her case is now closed and is never to be reopened.  She will now live the rest of her life on dialysis struggling each and every day while trying to raise her three girls.  The amazing thing is her faith in God.  She still continues to put Him first and knows that this life was chosen for her by him for a reason.  Alisa is such a special person and can light up a room with her positive energy.  She struggles day in and day out to strive to live the fullest life she can.> I think she could use some serious pampering!

It has been hard to coordinate our special day.  I still haven't met her in person, but I was able to give her a "be The Change" hoodie so far.  We are still trying to give her the shopping spree she deserves and her pedicure!  I just received news from Steph that she went to a meeting for a transplant wearing her tee and they found her eligible and moved her to the top of the transplant list, ready for the next transplant to arrive!  I am sure that they saw her shirt and  knew ;)  I will keep you updated on Alisa's story.  Keep her in your thoughts and prayers!
Here she is in front of the Hospital after her meeting!  Way to go Alisa!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October 7th National Frappe Day...Wait there's a day for that?

I had no idea there were days where nationally we recognized silly things like lipstick or coffee.  But hey!  Why not?  It is fun to unite as a country and indulge in frivolous activities or recognize certain people in our lives.  Its fun.  And since I never seem to know when they are coming, just from going through my Instagram feed and someone everyone else knows its national ice cream day.  I'm like "what the H? How do these people find out about this crap?"  So figured there was a website.  Yep!  Www.NationaldayCalendar.com Has it organized in months.  Not only are there months that recognize things like "National Sewing Month" or "Breast Cancer Awareness month" but there is a detailed explanation for how the "holiday" if you will, came about.  There is something recognized almost every day of the year.  What??  Some of them are silly but some are pretty good and I am glad that I decided to investigate this mystery.  Here are a list of some of my favorites!

4th- Spaghetti Day, and my birthday :)
5th- Whipped Cream Day
15th- Hat Day
16th- Religious Freedom day
19th- Popcorn Day
26th- Ellen Deg. Day

14th- Organ Donor Day
17th- Random Act of Kindness Day (I will definitely  be celebrating this one)

2nd- Walking Day
7th- No Housework Day
10th- Siblings Day
11th- Pet Day
30th- Hairstylist Appreciation Day (HECK YA!)

9th Birth Mother Day

1st- Bare-foot Day
first Sunday of June- Cancer Survivor Day

The list goes on and on!  I think I am going to make a cute printout of my favorites and share with you all so ya'll know ahead of time before you hit up your IG feed and realize your the only human who didn't know that it was National Corn Dog day.  lol.  You can thank me later!!

If you would like to celebrate today with a yummy Frappe, don't you fret.  They have links to some yummy recipes for you to try HERE.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Plaid...Gotta have some

If you haven't drug yourself through the Plaid band-wagon, What are you waiting for?  For the last couple years we have been teased and introduced to this true blue flannel loving print and it just keeps getting bigger and better.  I love browsing the web and seeing what else others are coming up with to accent this sweet trend.  I even created a Etsy Treasury HERE, where you can be linked to all the shops I feature on this post today!  How fun right?  I love that plaid takes on more colors of the rainbow than just red and black.  But don't get me wrong.  I love me some Buffalo Plaid any day.  My plaid shirts (all from target lol) are just tucked away in the outer darkness of my closet corner just waiting to be paired with my BE THE CHANGE tee and some leggings and my combat boots.  ARIZONA GET A CLUE WILL YA?  I may or may not have just let me kids go swimming this week.  Yep, that's how it is here in Phoenix.  October and in the 90s enjoying a nice little swim while I sit on the porch with my bestie looking at fabric options that are so enticing for cooler weather.  All this plaid makes me wanna go hike in the middle of the forest and chop down a tree and build a friggen log cabin.  Is that too much to ask for?  Enjoy getting excited!  And be on the look-out as I incorporate some amazing plaid in my collection soon!