Entries from December 2013

Minerals & Rocks

December 17, 2013

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Over the past year or so I’ve slowly collected a modest rock & mineral collection – mostly gifted to me from sweet friends. Sometimes when I meditate (which isn’t nearly as often as I’d like) I’ll lay them out in front of me and pretend like I’m charging them with good vibes – so they can return the favor when I need it. That said, I’m just skeptical enough that it’s easy to doubt the supposed magical components these rocks & minerals hold. But I want to believe!

So today I thought I’d share a little bit of my growing collection and use this space to learn more about and document the powers and properties each of these stones are said to harness.

Amethyst
I received this mineral from Moorea Seal after she launched her new online shop (check it out y’all – such an amazing collection of accessories and home goods).
• A stone traditionally worn to guard against drunkeness and to instill a sober mind.
• It is used as a dream stone and to help insomnia. Put an amethyst under your pillow to bring about pleasant dreams.
• Ancient Egyptians used the amethyst guard against guilty and fearful feelings.
• Amethyst is used for problems in the blood and in breathing problems. Amethyst crystal clusters are used to keep the air and life force in the home clean and positive.
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Sunstone
My friend Claire, who has quite a crystal collection, gifted me with this sunstone. At some point I dropped this stone and it broke in half – I was initially bummed but decided to interpret it as a metaphor of abundance and prosperity vs. bad luck.
• Sunstone is an abundance stone. It encourages independence and originality, is inspirational in revealing talents, and attracts fame and unexpected prosperity.
• Wear Sunstone to feel alive and enthusiastic.
• Sunstone increases your profile and brings opportunities for leadership and promotion. Place next to your computer when advertising your own business or services online.
• Sunstone warms the body, increasing metabolism, digestion, and vitality. It stimulates self-healing powers, regulating and harmonizing all of the organs.
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Quartz Crystal
My friend, jewelry designer and artist, Amanda Bradway gave me this piece of quartz over coffee after coming home from Arkansas on a crystal hunting trip for her (super amazing) jewelry. I have one of her quartz rings and included one of her many rad necklaces incorporating quartz on my Shop Good gift guide. I’ve also been wearing a quartz pendant throughout my entire pregnancy.
• Quartz has been called the “Universal Crystal” because of its many uses. It enhances energy by absorbing, storing, amplifying, balancing, focusing and transmitting.
• Quartz also enhances thoughts, as they are a form of energy.
• Due to its ability to balance, quartz is excellent for harmonizing and balancing one’s environment. Quartz is also good for energizing other crystals.
• Quartz is a stone of clarity which dispels negativity and clears away negative energy. It can be used to purify and clarify on the spiritual, mental, and physical planes.
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Red Spessartine Garnet (on Quartz with Muscovite)
Liz got me this beautiful specimen as a baby gift. Garnet is the birthstone for January, which is the month baby boy is due. And because now we know quartz is good for energizing other crystals this makes the perfect combination of stones. 
• The energies of Spessartine vibrate at a high rate, imparting a willingness to help others and strengthening the heart.
• It enhances analytical processes and the rational mind.
• Yet Spessartine also stimulates aspects of creative abilities and energies, encouraging one to take action toward one’s dreams, visions and goals.
• It is a good stone for artists, writers, dancers, actors and others who express through creative energy.
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Amber
My sister-in-law gifted our baby boy with this amber necklace. Apparently it’s great for teething toddlers but after reading more about the healing properties of amber my little guy will probably be rocking this piece of jewelry from day 1.
• Amber is not actually a stone or mineral, but rather fossilized tree sap.
• It is an excellent stone for those working with the Law of Attraction due to its ability to help in manifesting your desires.
• Amber stone helps draw out negative energy from the body then allows the body to heal itself by taking that negative energy and transmuting it into a positive energy that purifies the body, soul, heart and spirit.
Source

WOW! Okay, so after putting together this post I feel way more inspired to use these stones and minerals daily. Even if it’s all mental or placebo that’s okay – I think they’re a great tool for focusing on aspects and attitudes I want to manifest in my life.

Do you have a crystal or mineral collection? Do you believe in the healing properties or uses behind them? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience! 

 

Shop Good Gift Guide

December 14, 2013

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Every year around Christmas time Jeremy and I pick one or two local stores and do ALL of our holiday shopping there. I would recommend this for anyone who is busy, crunched for time, or wanting to support their local community. Shop Good is the store we always hit up first for our Christmas shopping.

Our friends Justin & Audrey own the store and I cannot give them enough praise for what they’ve created – a carefully curated store filled with fair trade and ethically made goods that is warm and welcoming (never snobby – I hate when stores feel too exclusive) – plus a portion of each purchase made goes back to a charity. Now you know why it’s called Shop Good.

When Shop Good invited me to put together a gift guide for them this year I was more than happy to oblige! Above are my picks which are all available in-store and online. Including hand-made jewelry by my favorites Merl Kinzie and Amanda Bradway. You can check out and purchase anything from my selection here.

UPDATE! Shop Good has offered And Kathleen readers a 20% discount using the code ANDKATHLEEN when checking out. 

P.S. This is not a sponsored post. Just a store I love and truly believe you should check out. 

35 Weeks | Family History

December 13, 2013

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Confession: I’ve started losing sleep over the anticipation of giving birth. The baby books and iPhone apps warned me about this and I was all “Psah. I’m a warrior. I got this.” I still try to give myself a good dose of positive affirmation mixed with a little delusion that it’s going to be no big deal but sometimes the middle-of-the-night gremlins get the best of me and I start to let my mind wander to the pain and the worst case scenarios. I try to put a stop to the horror stories and remind myself that I’m going to be a birthing badass and fall back asleep while imagining how I’d like the experience to go down.

One of the things that gives me comfort and confidence is my family history and genetic predisposition to birthing a baby like a champ. With my mom’s first pregnancy and delivery she simply thought she had eaten some bad food one night. After a few trips to the bathroom she realized that my sister was crowning (that means the top of the baby’s head is visible and coming out). Her and my dad waddled across the street to the local hospital and a few minutes later my sister was born. My brother and I arrived in similar fashion. Though, I just discovered the other day that my mom would have epidurals just before pushing. This information shocked me – I always thought my mom did it all natural, plus she’s terrified of needles. But she revealed that she was terrified of feeling the pain of her vagina being cut by the doctor (episiotomy) to make it more convenient for him to get the baby out. I hear this is no longer a common practice at most mother-baby friendly hospitals.

And then there was my sister. She was the first pregnant person I had daily interactions with. She was so sick, puking 8 times a day, for pretty much the entire 9 months of her pregnancy. But her unmedicated labor and delivery was a breeze that lasted about 3 hours total. Tara didn’t have a strong stance against a medicated birth but just simply couldn’t be bothered. My mom and I were on pins and needles in the waiting room while my sister labored (we’re not a party in the delivery room kind of family). I decided to get up and walk by her room, even though loitering in the hallway at a hospital is strongly discouraged. Through the closed door I could hear her pushing – it was unlike any noise I’d ever heard come from my sister and honestly, it scared me. Then I heard a baby cry – I ran back to the waiting room to tell my mom. After the delivery I remember being with Tara in her room – in my memory it was just the two of us – or maybe I was just laser focused on her. Even the baby had been taken to NICU for observation over a case of the hiccups. She had her knees bent under the stiff white hospital sheet and her legs were trembling – blood slowly soaking the sheets under her. She was so blissed out and happily chowing down on some cherry pie after 9 months of keeping nothing down. I was so proud of her and had her recount all the details to me. Tara has always been the best story teller even after giving birth.

I don’t need to be reminded that every woman has a different experience when it comes to birthing babies. But I’ll absolutely be drawing on the power of my mom and sister when it comes to delivery day.

Field Notes & Other Observations: 
• My belly is measures 33.5 weeks. That’s a little on the small side but it’s getting bigger with each appointment and continues to measure within 2 weeks of my actual pregnancy, which means it’s no big deal.
• I mentioned about half-way through the pregnancy that I had gained a significant amount of weight rather rapidly. So I only feel like it’s fair to share that that the big gains seemed to have happened more at the beginning of the pregnancy and my weight gain in the latter half hasn’t been nearly as dramatic. In fact, over the last two weeks I haven’t gained any weight at all.
• I mention above losing sleep over labor & delivery anxiety but I also lose sleep over the fact that this kid doesn’t yet have a car seat, washed laundry, or you know … a name.
• Baby boy is kicking and moving around like a champ. He seems to have super active days followed by more chill and restful days. It’s fun to feel him wake up and start moving to our voices when we wake up in the morning.
• We had our last Hypnobirthing class last week. Our key takeaway from the whole experience is the more chill you can be going into labor the less tension, fear, and pain you’ll feel. And what Hypnobirthing gives you are a bunch of tools for chilling out – from breathing to scripts for visualization to practical and specific information about what’s happening to your body as you give birth. It was a good experience and I’d recommend it to anyone.
• Both my mom and sister had their first baby 2 weeks early. I’m due mid-January. You can probably do the math.

Anatomy of an Outfit: 
• Sweatshirt – Gap (I think this is Maternity…)
• Tee & Leggings – BCBG (not maternity)
• Wool Socks – I have no idea…
• Boots – Uggs
• Hat – Aldo

P.S. I was hoping the marker I had been using for the overlays would hold out 40 weeks… but today it finally ran out of ink. Maybe this is a sign baby will come sooner than later? 

Rings

December 10, 2013

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There was something about finding out I was pregnant that instantly made me interested in overhauling my wardrobe and lifting really heavy weights. But investing in leather leggings and becoming a weight lifter is neither practical nor safe when your body is overtaken by another tiny human. I’ve got a post-partum closet makeover and muscle-building plan in place but in the meantime I’ve turned my focus towards jewelry.

How I accessorize isn’t limited by my growing waist size, which makes investing in jewelry especially appealing right about now. But there’s also something way more special and lasting about subtle rings and statement necklaces that clothes can’t quite offer. And maybe because I inherited a lot of my jewelry from my mom and grandma, from heirloom rings to fun costume jewelry, I’m starting to think about what I can pass down to my own family one day.

Jennie Claire is a jewelry designer in Austin, TX and Braid ECourse alum who surprised me with this stack of rings and a couple of knuckle rings to rock. She was even thoughtful enough to use the March birthstone, aquamarine, in the stack she sent because Jeremy and I got married in March. The quality of these rings is solid – you can tell they were crafted with care and attention to detail, by hand. I haven’t taken them off my fingers since they arrived. You can check out and order some Jennie Claire jewelry of your own here.

P.S. While I was lucky enough to be receive such an amazing and generous gift from Jen, in no way was I paid or expected to blog about these rings. I just love them that much. 

This is Braid Creative

December 9, 2013

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Day In The Life of Braid from Braid Creative on Vimeo.
(I can’t get the video to properly embed here so just click on the image or link above to watch the Braid video in Vimeo). 

Today we’re (soft) launching our new Braid Creative site! After two years of refining our own dream customer, methods, and offerings we wanted to overhaul our site to really say what we mean (which is what we’re preaching to our own clients on the daily). We’ve been working with Emily Thompson over at Indie Shopography for the last few months to consolidate our main site with our ECourse site and I couldn’t be more thrilled about how everything has turned out. Feel free to hop over to Braid Creative and check it out (especially if you’re a creative who hasn’t subscribed to the blog over there yet.)

We’re still working through a few kinks (and maybe a couple typos) but everything should be in ship-shape condition by the end of the week. For now, I want to share this brand video Choate House filmed for us over the summer. It was so amazing working with Kara and Jeremy Choate to help us capture who we are and help us “show” our “tell” – both in video and the stills you see throughout our new site. They were also super kind to squeeze us in to their busy schedule when I was only 5 months pregnant and not totally showing yet.

BRAID ECOURSE // DREAM CUSTOMER CATCHING
Our Braid ECourse for Creative Entrepreneurs Dream Customer Catching: Embrace Your Expertise and Attract What You Track is now open for registration through this Thursday. This 4-part ECourse will be in-session this Friday Dec. 13-22 – it’s great for aspiring and established creative entrepreneurs who need a little guidance narrowing in on their niche and closing more deals with dream clients.  Learn more, see what past students have to say about the ECourse, and register here – use the discount code ANDKATHLEEN50 to take this ECourse for $50.

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