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Melissa Mayer

Standing In Steadfast Security

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Happy Friday, friends!

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!

Psalm 18:1-3 

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)

OUTFIT DETAILS

dress | sunnies | shoes (c/o)

All About Elderberry Syrup

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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!

Talking Courage, Faith, & Family With Jessica Honegger

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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! 

SHOP JESSICA’S BOOK:

Clean Edit No. 8

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Hello, springtime! Taking care of your body from the inside out (food) and outside in (products) is important all year long (and the Clean Sweep is your guide for that), but there is something about the warm seasons and fresh air that make me even more conscious about personal care. It probably has something to do with the fact that our bodies are way more exposed in the spring and summer months…cue all the fun in the sun while wearing off-the-shoulder tops, bathing suits, cutoffs, and flowy dresses.

Keep scrolling for clean beauty products that I am currently loving and highly recommend for their purity and effectiveness. More recs can be found on @thecleanstuff and the full library of toxin-free products I swear by + daily, detailed wellness content (for 90 days) can be yours if you sign up for my clean living program, the Clean Sweep! xo

FIVE PRODUCTS ON REPEAT 

osea malibu cleanser

w3ll people mascara

ranavat facial spray

primally pure blue tansy deodorant

rahua hair balm

 

OUTFIT DETAILS

top (c/o) | bag | denim | boots

 

 

images: felicia lasala 

Clean Sweep Exclusive: Everyday Veggies

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Hey friends!

By now, you have definitely heard me talk about my Clean Sweep Program! If you are already signed up for the program, I would love to know how it’s going for you in the comments below 🙂 Or you can email us anytime at thelskblog@gmail.com!  I am so passionate about sharing what I have learned about wellness; walking alongside ya’ll on your own journeys toward feeling your best is such a joy!

Regardless if you are part of the Clean Sweep yet or not, I thought it would be fun to share an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from the Clean Sweep with you. This is from Week One Day 2, focused on all the veggies and even includes a salad dressing recipe that is seriously SO good. Hope you enjoy it and if you aren’t signed up for the Clean Sweep, this is the type of content you could expect during the 90 day journey. Learn more here!

At the Kennedy household, about 80% of all our meals are veggies. We eat a ton of broccoli and cauliflower steamed, sauteed, and roasted! No matter how veggies like that are prepared, they are so good and good for us.

Brussel sprouts and asparagus, rainbow carrots, shiitake mushrooms, beets, butternut squash, and sweet potato are also favorites!  I like to saute them in ghee on a low temperature for longer periods of time. I also like roasting these at high temperatures, which is especially good at drawing out the yummy, good sugars in the carrots, squashes, and sweet potatoes. Frozen or bagged artichokes and hearts of palm are great as a last minute salad or stir fry addition. Be careful of the citric acid in most canned versions, though!

Jase and I have a hearty salad daily at lunch or dinner that typically includes red lettuce, dinosaur kale (massaged with olive oil, half a lemon and a little pink salt), roasted beets, cucumber, and radish topped with sauerkraut, kelp flakes, cilantro, basil, and mint. It is so tasty, and we both really look forward to it! For salad dressing, I like to whip up a quick homemade dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. It is so simple yet so refreshing and delicious. I am so thankful because my mom made the most delicious dressings ever since I was little, so I have gotten the best recipes from her.

LEMON GARLIC SALAD DRESSING

Fitting for two salads

Squeeze one full lemon into a glass measuring cup

Add the same amount of olive oil to match the amount of lemon juice

Add freshly grated garlic (optional)

Whisk with a fork until it blends together well

Be sure to add healthy fats (again, we will break this down next week!) to your veggies. The following fats are good for your gut and for your brain function. For cooking, I rotate ghee, fed tallow grass , coconut oil, and avocado oil. Balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar (ACV) are also great pairings for salad dressings.

If you like what you read here, we are fairly certain you will love the program! It is currently on special for $99 which is a great deal, because it is typically $129.99. Snag it for this cost while you can! We recently changed the delivery system, too, so it is now an instant download. Meaning, you get all content straight away, allowing you to make your own schedule so you can take in the information at your own pace. xo

WHAT I AM WEARING:

top (c/o) | jeans

images: felicia lasala 

He Set Us Free

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With Good Friday being today and Easter Sunday just around the bend, our hearts are feeling the weight of Jesus’ sacrifice for us and we feel called to share a little Holy Week message with ya’ll.

When we say the weight of His sacrifice, it encompasses the unimaginable suffering that He went through on our behalf, as well as the complete faithfulness of God toward us, the endless love Jesus has for us, and the outstanding gift of grace that we’ve been given as children of God.

It takes my breath away in a God-fearing way every Easter, since it is a very intentional time to focus on this sacrifice. Easter calls us to remember that Jesus died so we could be free! May we live life daily with this truth on our hearts and in our minds, living freely and loving others like He loves us.

Time is a precious gift and Easter reminds us to make the most of the days He has given us out of his love and mercy. He died so we could live for Him (2 Corinthians 5;15), which is more than enough reason to wake up praising him and live to glory of God each and every day. Thank you, Jesus, for loving us sacrificially, unconditionally, and faithfully. We love you!

What I’m Wearing:

top | jeans | sneaks (c/o)

images: felicia lasala

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