Hey guys! If you are part of the Clean Sweep, follow me on Instagram, or are a regular reader of the blog, you know by now that eating clean, healthy, delicious foods is so important to me. I thought it would be fun to start regularly sharing my current five favorite foods in the kitchen, so here’s the first round for you. Enjoy!
These are just a few things that come to mind when I think of welcoming summer this weekend with memorial day weekend. My summer state of mind is already in full gear and I am so expectant of this sweet season spent savoring moments of rest and new adventures with my guy, our friends, and our families. And side-note, how could this light & bright layer not make me dream of summer? The color seriously brings me so much joy and is the perfect light layer for summer athleisure.
S U M M E R
sun-filled days + cooled-down nights :: weekend escapes to the ocean :: late saturday nights and slow sunday mornings :: taking time to rest and dream :: & enjoying the season fully
As we all know, life gets pretty busy. Am I right or am I right!? God is so gracious, though, and has given us an amazing, restful gift as a tool to navigate the busyness of life and that is PRAYER. No matter what we go through, prayer is always ours to practice and it is a direct connection to our Father. In a moment of stress at work? Put the phone down and pray. Unable to make a decision? Turn your eyes upward and pray. Overwhelmed by your to-do list at home? Step away from the pad of paper and pray. Frustrated with someone you love dearly? Excuse yourself momentarily and pray.
It sounds easy, right? Yes, except for the fact that in the moment we can sometimes forget to pray. No matter how much we love the Lord and trust Him wholeheartedly, as humans, we can get caught up in life and seriously forget that we have the amazing gift of prayer, of direct communication with our Maker, available to us at all times. All we have to do is remember whose we are and call out to Him.
Jase and I have been extra busy with the home renovation we are doing, so prayer has been an absolute blessing to help handle the task. We were both a little in over our heads the other day, and we got so caught up in the frustration that we forgot to pray. I was driving in the car, and it hit me! What peace it brings, almost immediately, when we pray in the midst of feeling overwhelmed. Prayer releases us from the cycle of frustration (or the feeling of wanting to control something) and reminds us that God is sovereign over all the things and he’s with us! We are not handling this alone- He is supporting us, comforting us, and guiding us every step of the way. PRAISE JESUS!
We recently heard a sermon on security and it really got our minds thinking. We have talked here on the blog about handling stress, guarding our hearts, trust, comfort, wisdom and so much more, but almost every faith-based message ends up focusing on the necessity of finding refuge in the Lord. It’s no coincidence!
In the sermon, the pastor speaks about how insecurity drives our fear. How true is this? When we don’t feel secure, safe, and firmly rooted, fear starts to take off. However, we have a forever, faithful, trusted safeguard against insecurity when we are are only putting our security in Christ. When we try to put our faith in something or someone else other than Jesus (be it your house, a person, job security, money, praise, possessions, health, our looks, abilities, or anything….) it doesn’t work. However, when Jesus is our rock, refuge, and fortress, we have a peace and security that is sure, guaranteed, steadfast, and true no matter what our circumstances are. This security allows us to stop striving, rest in Him, and be free of fear.
If you feel that you need a perspective shift when it comes to your security, hold the below verses from Psalm 18 close to your heart. Memorizing scripture is so powerful when insecurity, fear, and doubt try to worm their way in. Stand strong and use His word as your armor!
I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I was saved from my enemies. (CSB)
You guys have heard me talk about Cassie Green’s elderberry syrup quite a few times now between Instagram, The Clean Sweep program, and an exclusive LSK email, and that’s because it is truly a wellness staple in my life! I personally take a teaspoon or two of her elderberry goodness every morning to keep my immune system firing on all cylinders and a little bit extra if a sickness if trying to get to me. I am so thankful to be connected to Cassie, the syrup she has created, and the information she is sharing with us below. Keep reading for the lowdown on elderberry syrup from the elderberry queen herself!
10 Facts About Elderberry Syrup From Cassie Green
*Elderberry syrup is the juice of cooked antioxidant-rich elderberries mixed with other superfoods.
*To make our syrup, we simmer elderberries, strain, and press them. Then we add organic ginger, Ceylon cinnamon, lemon juice and a touch of honey and bottle it.
*Our elderberry syrup is very low in sugar (1g per serving just from the honey) and has no preservatives, thickeners or stabilizers; it’s made with real foods and is quite delicious!
*Elderberries are higher in antioxidants than pomegranates, blueberries and acai berries and are high in vitamins C, A and B6.
*Elderberries have been used for centuries to help ward off and treat illness. There are also a number of scientific studies that show them to be highly effective against influenza virus as well as research showing usage against HIV and cancer.
*Our elderberry syrup is wonderful used daily to help keep your immune system supported.
*A recommended daily dose for adults is normally 1-2tsp per day (kids take about half that), but some adults will opt for a larger dose on days they feel a sickness or seasonal allergies coming on.
*Studies have shown elderberry to be effective in preventing viruses from replicating. This means if you have a cold or flu virus, taking a product like our elderberry syrup can help shorten the life of the illness.
*Mainstream media has been paying more attention to elderberry syrup as of lately and that makes me smile! I am hopeful that causes more people to be curious about trying it.
*Did I mention it tastes really good? ‘Cause it does!
We are so excited to have Jessica Honegger with us today. As the founder of Noonday Collection, author of Imperfect Courage, and wife and mother, Jessica’s schedule is busy, but busy with things that enrich her soul and bring the Lord so much glory! We first heard Jessica’s name through friends who talked about the Noonday jewelry they owned and loved. Then I had the joy of hearing Jessica speak at IF Gathering, and then listened to her episode on a podcast that is close to our hearts- Thriving Beyond Belief! When we got connected to Jessica, we were seriously overjoyed to ask her a few questions about life, courage, jewelry, family, balance, and so much more. Keep reading to get to know Jessica and hear all the goodness she has to share!
-Tell us about the heart behind Noonday! What inspired the company and brand mission?
Before we launched Noonday Collection in 2010, my husband Joe and I were parents to two and decided to grow our family through adoption. We were running a house-flipping business right when the Austin real estate bubble popped (great timing, I know), but Joe and I had made up our minds about adopting. So, we set out to raise funds to bring our Jack home from Rwanda.
A friend of mine connected me with a jewelry maker in Uganda named Jalia. She was also in need of additional income to help support her family, so my friend suggested that I purchase some paper bead necklaces from Jalia and sell them to my friends and family in the U.S. I had no clue where it would lead, but I found myself with a ton of jewelry and decided to invite my girlfriends over to my house. I sold Jalia’s pieces at what ended up being the first-ever Noonday Collection Trunk Show. It’s been almost a decade now, and this little fundraiser of mine has grown into a global business that supports over 4,500 Artisans across the globe. Today, our son Jack is home and kicking a soccer ball like nobody’s business. Jack even considers himself the “true” founder of Noonday!
-What do you love about traveling to other countries and meeting the artisans of Noonday’s items?
Every time I travel abroad to visit Artisans, I’m reminded of my why. I’m reminded why I do the work that I do, and I’m inspired by the knowledge that we’re really all a lot more alike than we are different. I’ve met hundreds of people around the world whose families have been positively affected thanks to orders from Noonday, and nothing sparks a fire in my belly to keep at it like seeing that impact first-hand.
And then there’s the little things, like Vietnamese coconut coffee and scouring the markets in Delhi. Just last month I was in India with my business partner, Travis Wilson. He knows me well and even brought an empty suitcase along just for me to fill with all the best market goodies!
-What are your dreams for Noonday in the future?
More Ambassadors and more impact. It’s as simple as that. Every time a new Ambassador decides to join our Noonday community, we’re able to widen the marketplace we’ve created in the U.S. for the amazing work that each Artisan Business creates. With more Ambassadors comes more orders, with more orders comes more Artisan partnerships, and with more partnerships comes dignified work for thousands of people in need. Our team of Ambassadors is truly incredible, and I can’t wait to walk with them as they continue being the change they wish to see in the world.
-We love the title of your new book. What does leaving comfort look like to you?
It’s scary, comforting, and beautiful all at the same time. Whether it’s starting a business or trying the wide-leg pant trend, getting out of your comfort zone is exactly that – uncomfortable. But the fruits of that discomfort are well worth it. Growing our courage muscles is like growing any other muscles—you have to actually use them to make them stronger.
-Has writing a book always been something on your heart? What was the writing process like for you?
I’m not sure I’ve always considered myself to be an author, but I’ve long considered myself a storyteller, and I thought about writing this book for a long time. Imperfect Courage took years to put together, but I just knew that my purpose in life is to catalyze courage in others to help them leave comfort, go scared, and make their own impact footprints in the world! My teammates helped me sort through my thoughts in several brainstorming sessions, and we were making final edits right up until the print deadline! I’m an enneagram 7, so I’m always wanting to add something new—having a hard print deadline was definitely a challenge for me!
-I recently heard you at the IF Gathering say that you try to be fully present at work when you are working and fully present at home when you are home. We LOVE this perspective. How do you practically implement this practice on a day to day basis?
Lately, it’s been unplugging from my phone at various times throughout the day and practicing the art of just being. When I’m in an important meeting, I might leave my phone in my office. And when I’m home, I might even give it to my daughter, Amelie, to make sure I’m not randomly checking my Instagram messages.
But overall, these days I’m practicing the art of slowing down and embracing that “good enough” is actually plenty. With the release of a book last year and lots of international trips this year, it can be hard for me to slow down and be. Taking the time to be present at home with my family for an impromptu dance party or taco night, is often just the antidote I need.
Thank you, Jessica, for taking the time and energy to do this Q&A with us!