No longer a slave

I am a woman, a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter and a friend who struggles.

I struggle with anxiety. The smallest things can arouse the biggest fears. I struggle with insecurity. I struggle with trust because I have let myself believe that people won’t stay around too long or I will get disappointed. I struggle with selfishness. I struggle with high expectations, for myself but I also have the tendency to place them on others. I struggle with controlling issues. I struggle with eating enough. And, I struggle with struggling through these isues.

I mostly find it annoying to be confronted with these issues as a wife and as a mother. I find myself wishing I was better than all those things. I want to be a better wife for my husband, one who is confident, loves who she is and doesn’t need to be taken care of too much. For my kids I find myself wishing I would be a more stable mom, one who is always relaxing and fun to be around.

Rationally, I know that my wishful thoughts are probably things all moms dream of. We all want to be the best we can be for those we love. But the reality of life is often more challenging. One I, at least, sometimes just want to ignore.

On Monday I had written about my internship stopping and the way I reacted to it. If you missed the post on stepping into the light, you can read it here. This week I continued to be faced with the reality of where I am at right now. I am still scared and insecure. I realize that I had hoped that all my struggles had magically disappeared, only to find out that they are still there. It is still an everyday battle for me to trust instead of fear and to be confident in all that I am.

You know what, it is tiring to fight that daily battle against the thoughts in my mind. Putting on music I can sing along to usually helps me relax a little. So that was what I did last night. This is a song I want to share with you. A friend of mine sent it to me a while back. I found a different version yesterday, which I really enjoyed. This morning I realized that some of my anxiety had eased down again. I had listened to the song so many times yesterday that the words starting manifesting in my mind.

I just want to encourage you with this song and the words that are being sung out. Let them touch your heart and set you free. I know I will probably have to listen to this song many times more, but the start is there. We are no longer slaves to anything!

❤ Nan

Beautiful Mondays: Stepping into the light

Stepping into the light

A while back I had mentioned that I had started an internship with a stylist. I had helped out with a couple of things already. This last past week, however, I got a phone call that the internship would no longer be possible, due to changes taking place in her family. I was upset, hurt, disappointed and even a little mad when I heard this. I felt like the hope that had been given to me, suddenly had shattered. My first reaction was to quit completely, not even experiment with styling for myself. But then I realized that quitting wouldn’t help anyone and it would definitely not be a positive reaction for myself.

The lady I was interning with, called back to make sure I was doing alright. She told me I do have all the talents and creativity hidden inside of me and that I should definitely continue with what I am doing. She just didn’t expect her circumstances to change as quick as they did.

I am used to things not working out. Well, I say I am used to it, but each time it happens, I get just as disappointed as the time before. When you hope something will work out well for you and it doesn’t go the way you planned or hope, no matter what it is, feelings of disappointment and hurt will always surface. This weekend, though, I realized that what we do when disappointment and hurt want to take control, is crucial. We can withdraw ourselves and quit, like my first reaction was. Or we can challenge ourselves to look beyond our hurt, step into the light and look for new opportunities. It’s like they say, there is always another door that will open when one is closed.

So, instead of quitting and feeling sorry for myself, I took a step towards the light. How? By focussing on the styling projects I have right now: a love photoshoot and a one-year-old birthday party. Doing that, focussing on that what I do have, really helped. I have felt re-energized and excited to create beauty.

Today I want to encourage you to start stepping into the light if you are feeling disappointed or let down. There is always another opportunity or a different road. Don’t let those feelings get the best of you. Try creating beauty, even if it’s in small ways that barely seem to matter.

I wanted to share a picture of the suitcases I had painted for the wedding that I had helped out with while interning. I love how they turned out!

Suitcases

Have a beautiful Monday!

❤ Nan

Beautiful Mondays: A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

Today I have some reflective thoughts for you. No pictures, just words.

Yesterday I was encouraged by the message from our pastor on the poetic words “there is a time for everything…”. He reminded us that in this life, nothing is sure and we will go through different seasons. Some hard and challenging and others filled with joy and encouragement. He encouraged us to think about the season we personally are in right now. Are we experiencing a time of laughing or crying? Are we being molded and built up or are we an encouragement to others? He then challenged us to accept our current situation and trust that the One who is in control has the time in His hands. He knows what he is doing. 

I was really encouraged by those words because I am currently going through a challenging period where I am being molded. There are some “bad habits” that I need to learn to let go of and start becoming the woman I am meant to be: a strong, secure, creative and talented person. This process sometimes feels like a season without end. And the farther along I get, the more challenges I am faced with. 

Yesterday I realized that it is okay. It is okay to say I am tired and do not always feel like pressing on. But I need to remember and remind myself that this season too shall pass. And I am in the hands of the One who has ALL things on earth and in heaven in His hands. 

It all comes down to one thing: trust. This is something I, as a woman who wants to have control over everything, really struggle with. I was challenged with that again and it is something I am working on. Trust.

The question that I am faced with is: do I trust that everything has a time and a season and that there is One who has it in control? One who will work all things out for our good, even when we don’t always understand?

On this beautiful Monday, just be still and be blessed. 

Have a beautiful Monday!

❤️ Nan

P.s. Follow me along on Instagram to follow my styling creations! 

Beautiful Mondays: Free Printable

This has been one of those weeks where I have been challenged by motherhood. Our almost two year old son has discovered that he can climb out of his bed. This has resulted in little sleep for him and trying days for me and my husband. When I am sleep deprived, I tend to get emotionally unstable. It then is harder for me to fight my insecurities and my negative thoughts.   I tend to let my insecurities and fears take control.

Constantly, however, I am reminded that my thoughts need to change. Once my thoughts start to change, my actions and attitude will change. Each time the words whatever is true, whatever is right come to mind. I decided I needed to create something with this so I can display it somewhere in my house as a constant reminder.

Free Printable Whatever is

I am excited to share my first printable with you! I have made two versions. The first one has a pink watercolor background. And the second one is black and white. I realized the latter would probably match most home decors better.

Whatever is

You can download the pink free printable here.

The black and white printable you can download here.

Comment below to tell me what you think and if you used it, show me!

Have a beautiful Monday,

❤ Nan

* The credits for the watercolor background go to Angie Makes. She has some great freebies and her site is worth taking a visit to.

Creativity & Styling

The photoshoot I styled a while back (if you missed this post, read it here) was so much fun that me and Nons decided to do another one together. This time it will be a love inspired photoshoot. She also asked me to style her daughter’s first birthday party, which I am very excited about doing.

So yesterday I went on a little shopping spree, gathering some supplies. I thought I’d share them with you to get you excited with me in these new projects! And to make you wonder what I’ll be using them all for…

Styling Follow along on pinterest to see my inspiration for the styling of events, on my board styling.

Also, I have found a new hobby, developing printables and cards. Here is a sneakpreview of something I am working on for an event in our church.

Who am I business card

Keep following my blog to see the finishing results and more creative artwork/home decor.

Have a beautiful day!

❤ Nan

Beautiful Mondays: Made to Shine

DIY Picture Display
Being a mother gives me bitter-sweet feelings. I love having children, watching them develop and learn. I enjoy their innocence and interest in the world around them. Yet often, I am filled with a fear. A fear that I won’t always be able to protect them from the dangers and temptations of this world. A fear that in the process of growing up, I will lose them somehow. When that fear starts creeping up, it can, at times, consume me. I reach a point that all I want to do is move ourselves to an island where it’s just my little family. Where I can protect and care for them. But then the ‘sweet’ part of motherhood kicks in when I see my son not only exploring but mostly enjoying the little things around him. One of his biggest joys right now is being able to play on his dad’s drums. He gets this proud and satifying look on his face, like he has found his right place and purpose.

We took a picture of that a couple of weeks ago. I had to print it out and scrapbook it into something I could place in our home. Looking at this picture, I am reminded that we were made to shine. Each of us has something that lights up a fire in us, that makes us shine on the inside and on the outside. When we find what that is, big or small, and start investing in that, I believe we will become a lot more relaxed. We will be at ease because we have found our right place and our purpose: to be the light and to shine.

Home Decor Shine
I have to be reminded of this daily, which is why I decided to write it down and display it in our home.

On this Monday, be the beautiful you and shine. And do this stretching warm-up to start your week off well and help you shine!

It made me feel more ready for this week!

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”

Have a beautiful Monday!

❤ Nan

Beautiful Mondays: Bravery

In a previous post, I had shown you the chalkboard my husband had made with pallets. You can read that post here if you missed it. I hadn’t written anything on my chalkboard yet because I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to write on it. This was starting to bug my husband.

Today I went for a walk with my two babies and we found some feathers. When I came home, I looked at my chalkboard and suddenly felt inspired. Remembering something I had seen on my Pinterest board “Inspiring”, I finally figured out what to do with my chalkboard! So I grabbed my chalkboard marker, my washi tape and my feathers and this is how it turned out.

Home Decorlive brave

It is actually a very easy D.I.Y. On Pinterest they had placed this in a picture frame, which would also make for a very cute home decor piece.

75948b81048d25ae863289da13708403via

Of course, you could do anything with some inspiring words and some feathers.

There is one more thing I want to share with you. I recently heard a song from Casting Crowns called “Thrive”. A part of the chorus really encouraged me. They sing:  We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives.  It’s time for us to more than just survive. We were made to thrive. I was reminded of these words as I was writing ‘live brave’ on my chalkboard. I have been trying to figure out who I am for the past ten years. When I started my internship as a stylist just two weeks ago, a part of me started to feel more alive. I realized that we all are created for something. A desire, a passion and a talent has been placed in our hearts. Once we start listening to that and living that out, we become more and more alive. It takes bravery though, to take those steps. But we are not here to merely survive life, although at times it may feel like that. Like the song says, we were made for so much more! And I am starting to experience the freedom that comes from thriving. None of us are made for the ordinary. We all have a talent and special purpose on this earth and it’s time we start figuring out what that is and start thriving instead of surviving.

So this Monday I want to dare you to start living brave. Begin following the passions and talents you have and you will feel yourself come alive.

Have a beautiful Monday.

❤ Nan

DIY: Picture displays

For those of you looking for a new and different way to display your pictures throughout your house, I have an easy “Do It Yourself”. Yesterday I was in a creative mood and I really like the results I got.

Both are very easy to make and not many supplies are needed.

A photo display

For this first one, all you need is some scrapbooking paper, washi tape, scissors, a sharpie (or any kind of pen or marker), dubble sides tape (or glue) and some fun stickers, cut-outs or vellum shapes. Then the rest is up to you! Start experimenting different positions for your picture and stickers/vellum shapes till you have created your own beautiful masterpiece! The Maggie Holmes collection actually inspired me to do this. She makes some beautiful supplies for creative people. You should take a look at het blog!

This second DIY is one I have wanted to do for a while, but hadn’t made time for yet. This one is my husband’s favorite and I must say I am pretty proud of it.
Picture in a Jar
For this project, you will basically need the same supplies as in the one above. Except this one also requires a jar and some ribbon. What I did was glue some scrapbooking paper to both sides of the picture. With a slick writer (the perfect pen to write on washi tape and other “slick” surfaces) I wrote love on the picture. I then placed that in a jar. I added a cute ribbon that has words on it. And I added brown string. I sewed two vellum shapes onto the string. And that was it!

I hope you will feel inspired to make some beautiful photo displaying decor for around your home.

Have a lovely weekend.

❤ Nan

Blog Renovations

I mentioned in a previous post that I have an internship as a stylist! I am really excited about this. Using my creativity in the form of styling gives me energy and gets me excited. I’m really thankful that I have been given this chance so I can learn and develop myself in this area. There really is a lot more to learn and consider than I thought!

I will be doing my internship with Suzanne de Lima. You can check out her website and portfolio if you like.

Partially due to this new opportunity, I will be doing some blog renovations. The first one being a new name. I have given my current name a thought and came to the conclusion that it is too long for it to be catchy. Therefore, my new name will be…..

Creating Beauty.

In the following weeks (maybe even months), I will be working on changing and re-arranging my website till I feel like it really matches who I am and what I want to express.

Also, I have made a facebook page and an instagram account so that you can follow my journey as a stylist intern more closely, since I won’t be blogging about it constantly. On the right side of the page you can click on each and start following me there!

Well, this is it for now.

❤ Nan

Beautiful Mondays: Ice Cream Memories

One of our favorite things to do as a family is to go out for ice cream. Before we had kids, my husband and I would go out for ice cream every sunday as soon as the weather got warmer. We had three favorite ice cream salons, in three different towns. So each sunday we would pick one to go to. Because of that, we decided to take some of our wedding pictures at one of those ice cream salons.

Ice Cream WeddingBut things changed a little once we had our baby boy (and now our baby girl). It got a little harder to just go off and get ice cream each sunday, especially since we don’t own a car. And the first seven months a bicycle is no option. But, to be honest, it makes the times we do go out for ice cream extra special.

This past weekend the weather has gotten a lot warmer here. So on sunday we decided to go out for ice cream (we had a car available for our use!). I love watching my son enjoy his ice cream. He, of course, wants not only his own, but also some of mine and some of his dad’s. He still has to learn how to properly eat them though. It was a great way to end an already fun and relaxing weekend.

I am a definitely a huge ice cream lover. It doesn’t have to be summer for me to eat ice cream. I love it on the cold, wintery days as well! Sometimes it tastes even better then! You can imagine, then, that I was excited when I saw different recipes for making your own popsicles on Pinterest. And I’m not talking about just the normal lemonade type popsicles. There are yoghurt flavored ones, lots of different fruit types (with real pieces of fruit in them!) and even cocktail flavored ones!

I didn’t pin a lot of them yet, just the kid-friendly ones and the ones that weren’t too hard and time-consuming to make. One recipe (and blog, for that matter) really got me excited: Funfetti Creamsicles.

These are popsicles that have sprinkles in them! And I LOVE sprinkles on ice cream. It is almost a must have. You can find the recipe on Studio DIY. If you are not a popsicle lover or don’t feel like making them, definitely check out her website. Just the homepage should get you feeling inspired on this Monday. She has some fun and creative ideas on there.

I bought these really cute popsicle mold (for my Dutch readers, you can buy these at the Action).

popsicle molds

I was very excited to try the recipe. However, I haven’t tested them yet. I am honestly a bit scared to try them out because I am almost positive they didn’t turn out the way they were supposed too. I don’t know how they managed to get pretty orange creamsicles because my turned out blue…Maybe my sprinkles had too much food coloring in them. Or maybe I should have used freshly squeezed orange juice instead of the store-bought kind. I don’t know. I will have my hubby test them out 🙂
Here you can see my creamsicle making process…and where the “batter” turned blue. If you try them, I hope yours get a better color! Let me know.

The Making of Funfetti Creamsicles

Treat yourself to an ice cream today or try making them yourself. Have a beautiful Monday!

❤ Nan