Friday, December 22, 2017

Oh Peace, Where Are You?

Peace. It's something we usually pray for throughout the year. Something we long for and hope to have active every day. The sad truth is, most of us don't feel it. We are busy and overwhelmed by the demands of life. There is a struggle; our spirit calls out in desperation while our flesh is balancing all the dishes to keep them from crashing down. Oh peace, where are you?! says almost every Christian ever. Perhaps that is why the book I Timothy in the New Testament records the words "fight the good fight of faith" (6:12). Indeed there is a fight and the only thing that determines that it is a good one is the faith we have in the Lord.

At Christmas time, it's exciting! For a brief moment in our hectic schedules, adult responsibilities, emotionally draining day-to-day bustle...we are almost forced to focus on Him. Our God become a baby. The King of kings, born humbly for a purpose. The Prince of Peace, Emmanuel. God with us.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

How do we access the peace of the Prince? To apply it to our daily lives, not just at Christmas? There is no fix-it pill or secret formula. And I can't say that I have all the answers or even feel this precious peace on a daily basis. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. If the God of all creation has all power and can do all things, surely His peace is ready for us. If the Maker of the stars, of Heaven, is the same Jesus who raised the dead to life and healed the sick...then what do we have to fear? Why do we choose worry over peace?

If we feel powerless in our pursuit of peace, the problem is not the peace itself. It is a perfect, crafted gift from the Ultimate Gift Giver. His peace has no flaws. No blemish. Pure and white as a lamb. God's peace must be given the proper authority to fully operate in our hearts first, before it can make a difference to our lives. We must choose to shift our focus from our fears to our faith.

To be fearless is not saying we will never fear or worry, however it is knowing the One who eliminates the fear and brings perfect peace! We need to plug into His Word and talk to Him in prayer in order to access the antidote to this crazy thing we call life. Peace is like a battery; it needs to be recharged and refilled after a while. The curse of being human is the cares that surround us and the draining power that has over us but there was a baby boy long ago that changed history!

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

When Jesus became a baby, He could have been an emperor. But He wasn't. God could've been rich and not have parents. But He did have them and subjected Himself to their leadership. In order to obtain the victory, we have to be obedient to the higher spiritual authority. The Lord is kind, just, merciful and holy. He is The Everlasting Father. He is The Prince of Peace. He knows what we need so following His voice will bring our sheepish hearts safely home.

I personally will make it a point to tap into His perfect peace on a daily basis. Not just to calm my weary soul but to leave behind a legacy for the next generation. Peace is not a selfish gift but one that affects all those around us when we open it. A way to teach our children that this life can be hard but that's not the end of the story. It doesn't have to be the end of our story. That long ago God defined His peace and gave us full access to it. We hold the power in our choices. Let us pray:

Lord, thank you for Your perfect peace. Help us to understand how to fully access it every day so that we can accomplish Your will. Teach us to seek You first above all things and comfort our hearts during times of struggle. Revive our faith and remind us of who You are, so that we can praise You in every aspect of our lives. For You are worthy and You alone do we follow.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

How are you going to actively seek His peace this upcoming new year?

Friday, December 8, 2017

2017 Ultimate Christian Girl Gift Guide!

Wow! It's been a long time since I've blogged here. Life just got a bit crazy and I've been more active on Instagram. It's just so much fun over there, what can I say! Actually, as I was scrolling, it struck me how many amazing Christian girl bosses I know. I started thinking how cool it would be to curate a collection of their items for an ultimate gift guide. So here it is!! Many of these shops have ready-to-ship items geared towards the modern Christian girl. Some are made to order. But all of them are genuine hearts using their gifts to serve others. This guide is the perfect resource if you are a last minute shopper. Time is ticking and Christmas is almost here, ah! So check out my sweet friends and bring them holiday blessings, either by purchasing from their shops and/or sharing about them on social media. Each photo is linked for more details and information about each shop. Happy shopping and God bless!
PS: stay tuned for brand new blog posts coming soon. Feel good to be back!!

Image of Gourmet Gift Box

Hello Lovely -- White Glossy Mug


Pray Big Gold Christian Art Quote 8x10 Black Canvas Illustration

Monday, March 9, 2015

Free 'Tis So Sweet Watercolor Printable

Happy Monday beauties! Here's a special treat to start your week right. This is an original watercolor script print to celebrate the coming of spring and how amazing Jesus is. It's been a harsh winter but be comforted that God will bring warmth and new life next season. We can always trust in Jesus, that He will provide all we need!

You can right click on the image above & save as to your computer or click here to download.

"Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth"
Isaiah 43:19

Monday, March 2, 2015

Are You an Ambassador for Christ?


am・bas・sa・dor | am'basәdәr, -dÔr | noun ● a person who acts as a representative or promotor of a specified activity. [line] As Christian women, it is often easy to get caught up in life and rarely think about who we are and what our purpose on this earth is. Why are we here? What is our calling? What is our mission? Most of us live extremely busy lives: work, family, church, extra-curricular activities, hobbies, responsibilities, volunteering. The to-do lists often seem endless. Yet while we are busy with being busy, busy with just life itself, I have been asking myself a few questions lately that I would like to share with you:

1. Are you an ambassador of Jesus Christ?

Do you act as a representative of His gospel, of His love, of His will? Do you present yourself as a woman who seeks to promote His cause, His purpose, His salvation? "And who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" {Esther 4:14 KJV} When you are busy dropping kids off at school, grocery shopping, running errands at Target, are you keeping your eyes open for ministry? Are you noticing the people in your environment who seek you out with their eyes because they sense Jesus in you? Are you reaching out to people in your community on a daily basis, or are you so intent on what you are doing that you fail to be Jesus to them?

2. Are you an ambassador of holiness?

Do you present your outward appearance to the world in a manner that is in direct line with Biblical standards to be "set apart" from the world so that Jesus is seen through you? Do you speak in a manner that aligns yourself with Christ? Are your thoughts and speech reflective of Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." {KJV} Are you making sure that every time you are in public, your appearance and conversation are representing Jesus so that the world so they see, feel, and experience purity, justice, honesty, and virtue?

3. Are you an ambassador of peace?

Do you strive for those around you to feel strength and contentedness, or do you gossip and create strife among your coworkers, family, and friends? "Follow peace with all [women], and holiness, without which no [woman] shall see the Lord." {Hebrews 12:14 KJV} Do you encourage those around you to live peaceably with one another? Do you seek to give positive encouragement or do you fall into the trap of being negative and pessimistic with every mishap? [line] "Perfect" is a societal buzzword for millennials these days; I know, because I overuse it constantly. That dress is "perfect," those shoes match "perfectly" with the "perfect" dress; meeting up for coffee at 2pm is "perfect," and this scone is a "perfect" complement to this "perfectly" crafted espresso. We seek for perfection, and when we find that perfection is unattainable, we become dissatisfied and unhappy with whatever is imperfect. Our lives are constantly a work in progress, and failures are sure to come; storms will come and unplanned events will certainly catch us off guard. But in the midst of all this, we still are called to be women of integrity, purpose, and ministry. We are not called to plaster a fake smile on our tear-stained face, but we are called to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ; we are called to speak to the broken hearts, comfort those who mourn, rejoice with those who are blessed. We are not called to go through life as plastic mannequins with a perfect facade, but we are called to be present in the lives of those we encounter each day. This does not mean we have to be "yes" people, always saying yes and filling our already over-packed schedules until every single line in the planner is full, but we are called to love, serve, and understand.

We are called to be ambassadors of the King; representatives of His Kingdom; promoters of His love, salvation, and peace.

That is our purpose, our mission, the reason for which we were created. I am not perfect; I make mistakes. I have much to learn, but in what I have already learned, I know that my life is not my own for it is to be lived with the sole purpose of being an ambassador of Jesus Christ. 

Nichole Criss is a music instructor & entrepreneur. She loves to read, travel and write. Visit her website and be sure to follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Grow Your Shop Series: 3 Ways To Make More Sales

Hey beauties! This is the last post for our Grow Your Shop Series and it's one I know we all talk about. (If you've missed the other posts, find them here, here and here.) Sure we love what we do and being creative but the bottom line is we need sales to grow. This money helps fund our passions so without sales...well, it's really really hard to make ends meet. I've broken down what I want to share in 3 categories so let's go!


A huge myth in the handmade movement is that we have to be secretive about our craft so "others don't copy." I might get beheaded for this but don't worry so much about that! As a creative person, you received some sort of inspiration from someone else down the I right? I'm not telling you to share the ingredients to your secret successful recipes but what I am saying is don't be afraid to share sneak peeks at your process, your work space and your new projects. I LOVE Instagram for this reason because that's what my customers like and what I like. It's awesome to follow brands I adore and feel like I'm getting an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how they work. It helps me feel more a part of what they are doing and I'll want to buy something not only because I love it but I want to continue supporting such an awesome shop.


Obviously you're aware of how awesome your shop is but you have to get out there and speak up. Getting more sales is so much more than listing items and praying someone finds it. Here are two things I've done that has helped bring in sales and long lasting customers:
- Collaborate with other shops or brands. Do a project together in exchange for free promotion on each others social media accounts. Customers are real people and as people crave community.
- Guest spot and blog ads. This is one of my favorites because it takes your shop and puts it in a storefront like in the mall. Find blogs you love with a great following and active readers. If they don't provide sidebar advertising or guest post options, email them politely asking if they would consider it. Writing a guest post on a blog shares what you do and who you are. Sidebar ads are like mini billboards on the internet. Any traffic is good traffic and ads are very good traffic.


It may sound weird when I say give something free away to get more sales...but it's true. Having a giveaway or a contest for one of your items whether through your social media, website or someone else's is a great idea. You want people to know about you but most importantly to remember you. Many times it's required that people follow your shop or social media accounts to enter. This boosts your follower numbers which will in turn increase the number of people who see your posts. More than that, you're reaching out to people and being generous. When a shop owner is seen as generous, people start caring more about them. Sure some might just follow to enter because they want free stuff then unfollow after the contest is over. Don't worry about that. The entire point is getting your brand out there and sharing your awesome talent with everyone. Blessing a lucky winner with free stuff will get your shop noticed for sure.

Keep in mind that not every follower will be a customer. That's fine! The key is to branch out so far that more people will see your brand and increase the likelihood of future sales. Oh and a bonus: list often!! I always notice a boost in my shop views and sales when I list a few times a week. If you have enough inventory to list items one to three times a day, do it! List an item in the morning, then afternoon, then night. I list a couple times a week and believe it is essential to showing people that your shop is alive and constantly spitting out items like a boss.

So be active, share who you are and what you do, remember your audience and list like crazy. May the force be with you, grasshopper. (er yeah, just good luck!)

Have any questions about sales, this post or the entire series? Let me know below, I'd love to help!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Grow Your Shop Series: Find The Financial Flow

Happy Friday! Here we are again in our second to last part of the Grow Your Shop Series. I'm glad you're here today because I'm talking about money...yay!! First a disclaimer...I'm not the best with it. Just being honest. It's only by the grace of God that I get to keep doing what I love. So for the record, this post isn't a cookie-cutter finance plan to keep your business floating. I believe there are plenty of articles from more professional and more qualified people out there than myself. We'll be talking about the flow of income and how it can help launch your business.

Utilize All Your Gifts

Apart from being an artist I'm also a writer. Having a successful online shop was always my #1 goal but I knew that I needed a financial flow to help build that. A few years back, I started working with Demand Media Studios creating content for various popular websites such as Apartment Therapy and eHow. For every article that was accepted, I was paid $25. That would change depending on topics and sections. That money would then be used to market my online shop, purchase new materials and be saved towards new products. It worked so well, I even got to pay myself once in a while!

Think about your skills...all of them. Do you write good blog posts? Take amazing photos? Are a social media whiz? You can freelance your services to help others and in turn create financial flow back to your online shop. Work with websites who will pay you for content. Sign up to be a stock photo photographer and reap the rewards of royalties every time someone downloads your photos. Ask big blogs if they could use a hand with their social accounts or emails and become their virtual assistant. Branch out rivers of possibilities to lead back towards your financial pool.

Provide Different Price Points

Another way to start a financial flow is by making sure you have a variety of different price points within your shop. For example, I design and sell graphic tees. These are very popular and bring in great financial flow. Knowing my customer base, they are very creative and many are entrepreneurs themselves. So with that in mind, I started providing painted quotes as prints for a lower price. This gives the buyer other options which in turn helps the financial flow. A customer could like a tee but also an uplifting art print and illustrated coffee mug.

Many customers would be more likely to buy from a shop if they see variety in pricing. Think about it. It's pretty psychological. How many times have we been in Target and have gone "Oh that top is great, $20!" then turn around just to go "What? Fuzzy slippers are only $8? Yup that's happening." Both end up in your cart in a heartbeat. Of course, it's Target...they know what they are doing. You can use that same mentality for your shop to create a financial flow. Here's a great article from the Etsy Blog about pricing and the worksheet they provide to help price out your products. It's a tricky game; just try one different things and track the results.

Share Your Brand

A very big myth that I see with many shop owners especially new ones is that you have to have one platform for your shop. For many, it's either between Etsy or Storenvy. I actually have written my own thoughts about the pros and cons of each in this post. If you've read it, you'll know where I'm going with this. Hello Awesome, my shop, can be found both in Etsy AND Storenvy. Now I understand most people don't want the hassel of handling two different shops. That is understandable. But my take is go where the customers go. If you are not having many sales and are struggling to bring traffic to one shop, you should consider opening another one on a different platform to try and bring in customers. I personally have more luck with Storenvy right now but it took a while. Years back I ran a graphic design shop on Etsy that was hopping. You should share your brand across different platforms to provide more opportunities for people to buy your stuff. It's really that simple. You don't have to provide all your products on both unless you want to. Think about the platform and the kind of people it attracts. What do they like? What do they don't like? What are the trends and fads? Don't compromise your work but use what you have to draw them in.

To find the financial flow is to go beyond the normal "list-sell-buy" attitude; where you list, sell for a price, they buy. Businesses rarely just run like that. Let's use Target again: do they really need Starbucks to get customers? No but it helps! Adding a Starbucks is something that pleases the customers and adds a different financial flow. It's possible that Starbucks has to pay Target a percentage to have a kiosk in their stores.

As you can see, there are many ways you can financially help your shop grow. Be creative and think of something yourself! Being flexible is essential to running a business. You've been given infinite resources to do the incredible. Try to get past the cookie-cutter mindsets to find the financial flow for your shop.

Like this post? Check out the other parts to the series:
Social Media Etiquette
Customer Satisfaction Tips

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

5 Tips for Healthier Hair

Hello friends - it's Lizzie here. I am so happy to be here with you all once again, and today we are going to be talking about hair care. We all dream of long and beautiful locks like Rapunzel, but how can we obtain such healthy looking hair? We will most certainly not be throwing our hair out a window in an attempt to get rescued, but don't we all want to know how to care for our beautiful locks. So today I am going to be sharing five tips for healthier hair. Let's get started.

Tip #1: Drink Water
Yep! You read correctly. Water not only hydrates you, but it hydrates your hair. It feeds the hair follicle, which can help your hair grow as well. Water has many good benefits. It helps your skin, it keeps you hydrated and it strengthens your hair. Try to drink at least 8 cups of water daily, and you will notice a complete difference in hair growth and in your body in general.

Tip #2: Less Heat
Makes sense right? The less heat you use the softer and healthier your hair will be. You can make a goal for yourself, and only allow heat styling tools near your locks once a week. Refrain from blow drying your hair all the time. Allow your hair to air dry, and limit the amount of heat you use. This can eliminate future split ends and can make your hair smooth too.

Tip #3: Wash Your Hair Less: 
Sounds strange I know, but if you wash your hair every day, you remove the natural oils from your scalp, and this can make your hair dry. If possible wash your hair 3 times a week. If this is not enough then wash your hair every other day. My hair is straight and thin, so when I don't wash it every other day it gets oily fast. Embarrassing I know. You know your hair better than anyone else. If you feel like you can wash your hair only three times a week, then go for it.

Tip #4: Be Gentle with Your Hair Ties
If you are anything like me, then putting your hair in a top knot or pony is always a go to hairstyle. It is simple and easy, and it looks good. Did you know that having a ponytail in the same place for many days can damage your hair. That's right! If you love pony's and top knots as much as me then try changing it up once in a while. Try a high pony one day, a low pony the next, a high top knot, and maybe a side updo the next. Refrain from tightening the pony also to limit breakage.

Tip #5: Massage Away
Have you ever had your head massaged? or have you ever had someone play with your hair? It is very relaxing. Take some time to massage your scalp. It not only feels good, but it helps your hair as well. This can be especially great if you have had your hair in a pony all day. Massaging your scalp will relax you, and it may be even help with hair growth.

There you go ladies. Love your hair, and remember that in order to make it healthy and beautiful, you have to take care of it. I hope you enjoyed these tips, now go ahead and try them out. What tips do you recommend for healthier hair?

Lizzie blogs over at & she can be found on Twitter & Instagram.

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