VENDOR SPOTLIGHT & A GIVEAWAY WITH LITTLE LUNCH MAKER

We're so pleased to have met and worked with many wonderful vendors that give back and have a true calling in what they do. We'll be highlighting a different vendor/small business owner each month on the blog, and we are so excited to start with Elise from Little Lunch Maker. We were blessed to meet her through a mutual Instagram friend, and it's been fun and faith boosting, following each others journeys over the past year. 

As you'll find out, Elise has the kindest heart and makes the most beautiful prints and art work. She is uplifting and encouraging, and even though we haven't had the pleasure to meet in person, you can feel her kindness and God love through her writing and messages. We're so happy to interview her today for our first spotlight, and we hope you enjoy getting to know her (and her business)  just a little bit more! 

You're Beautiful Print

Please tell us a little about yourself and your tribe!

Hi! I’m Elise. I am married to my best friend and super-supportive business partner, Jason. Somehow we keep our 5 exuberant kids alive (and fed!). They are so loud, y’all. They train us in character development every day and we are trying to return the blessing! We attempt to throw homeschooling in the mix. I am the oldest girl of 9 children, and my husband is an only child. We are currently working towards traveling the U.S. in our tiny home (a 5th wheel RV my super-skilled DIY husband is renovating from top to bottom!).

Free Indeed Print

How did you start your blog and online shop "Little Lunch Maker"?

Like God so often does - He used a crisis to pivot the direction my family was heading about 3 years ago. My husband’s dad had Alzheimer’s disease for nearly a decade, and in the fall of 2014 his dementia took a downturn that required full-time care. After much prayer we felt God wanted Jason to quit his full-time job, and all of us move into his parent’s house to be live-in caretakers for his dad, and a support for his mom.

Starting the Little Lunch Maker shop was the idea God gave me to earn income from home while still doing what I love: sharing about Him and strengthening people to obey and trust Him.

Raw + Beautiful Frames

What fuels your passion and inspires your creativity?

I’m not trying to give a stock answer... But what really fuels my passion is this: I want to others to know Jesus more and more. I want to share everything I know of Him. He is my joy and sanity. He is my passion, and He inspires my creativity. I am never discouraged when my eyes are fixed on Him. Every creative work I have ever put into the world has come directly out of my time and relationship with Him. He gives me some truth + hope + grace… and I try to stuff it into lines, curves, colors, gold foil and the English language.

What have you learned so far in business/creativity that you can share with others?

Prayer is the foundation of everything successful - including business. Because God’s voice has got to be the loudest and clearest in my mind and heart so I know what step to take next. Or I will get jerked around and overwhelmed by all the great ideas/online courses/opinions/methods out there.

Some awesome resources He has directed me to that have helped immensely with the tactical side of business development:

Emily Ley’s Playbook website. Her masterclasses are like one-on-one brand and business coaching you can revisit over and over. 100% worth the price.

Stu McLaren’s TRIBE course (I’m developing an online course right now). If you are interested in creating a membership site, and online course, or some other recurring digital content for income then I highly recommend Stu’s course. He shares so generously from his vast experience with membership sites!

Beth Anne from Brilliant Business Moms is another favorite I have to recommend. Her posts are so practical and encouraging! And if you have a business question? Email her team and ask! They really will answer. (Find this email address at the end of her “about” page).

Questions Devotional

What is one thing that has happened to you, that has made you a stronger person?

Moving in with my mother-in-law to care for my father-in-law. Giving up my own safe, comfortable “home base” and space. This move happened about a year after finding out one of my little girls had been abused - so there were major emotional, mental, spiritual struggles already going on. Trying to raise and spiritually support 5 kids, homeschool, and work from home in my mother-in-law’s home while caring for my father-in-law with dementia is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It painfully exposed everything I cannot control, everything I do not have “together”. And I’ve done some hard things (single motherhood, natural childbirth etc.). But - because God is determined that our strength should be drawn from Him alone - He needed to strip away everything else I thought was solid ground for my feet. He pried open my desire to control my circumstances and how others perceive me one stubborn finger at a time. Now I try to keep my hands/my circumstances wide open to Him and my feet on the Rock. He has made me stronger and more joy-filled than I ever hoped or asked for. I trust He will continue. I’m going to need it.

What brings you hope?

Hope Himself poured into me through the Holy Spirit. These aren’t just words. This is my life experience. When I am full of Him - I am full of Hope.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

I want *everyone* to have this unshakable Hope, too. He’s the best. Ever.

Then Sings My Soul

Where can we connect with you more? (add in blog, social channels, store, etc.)

Come connect with me at littlelunchmaker.com! If you want to strengthen your faith, I’d be honored to run a bit of this race with you and cheer you on at the top of my totally-unashamed lungs! You can also find me on Instagram!

 

Isn't she lovely? Thank you Elise for spending time with us today. Your words, advice and business tips are immensely helpful!

With that said, we're doing a little giveaway with Elise, and we're so excited! We'll be giving away one of our Mini Boxes of Hope (something new we're trying out!) and 1 8x10  Hope print from Elise's shop, to one lucky winner! 

Here's how you enter! 

shop collab giveaway.png

1 entry : Follow both @boxesofhopeco and @littlelunchmaker on Instagram

1 entry: Leave a comment on this blog

1 entry each: Tag a friend (or a bunch!) 

That's it! Super easy. We look forward to connecting with you all and can't wait to find out who our winner is. 

Winner will be announced Tuesday, June 27th! 

Have a blessed day! 

Danae & Suzi

 

 

 

SWEET MOTHER'S DAY FREEBIE

 

With Mother's Day quickly approaching, we wanted to give you some fun (and free!) printable cards to attach to any gift! You can print them out on card stock for a little extra wow and even hand them out to some of your favorite moms! There are 4 fun designs below, just open and print! 

Enjoy! 

Suzi & Danae

Happy Mother's Day Card

One Hot Mama Card

Bee's Knees Card

Prettiest Flower in the Field Card

BE BRAVE LITTLE ONE

 

It's not the easiest topic for us ladies to talk about, but I have decided to put myself out there for the sake of possibly helping others, while I help myself through navigating this frustrating,  and sometimes depressing, situation. This is my journey, and my story. I'm happy for you to come along. 

So to get started, let's be real for one second, as soon as you get married, the questions and comments start pouring in. "So, when will you be having kids?" "Do you want kids?" "Your kids will be SO cute!" (sorry, I threw that one in there for selfish reasons, ;) ) And so on and so forth. And though many people are doing this out of love (I'm pretty sure ALL of them are) and don't mean to be hurtful, at some point, after a few years, it becomes a frustrating conversation to have. Instead of hiding behind it, I've decided to embrace it and talk about it. I feel like there are so many couples dealing with this issue, and sometimes, we feel there is no one to talk about it with. 

Ascander and I were lucky enough to meet 8 years ago, and this upcoming April,we'll be married for 3 years! Though I have had some really rough times during our marriage (grieving over my brothers loss about did me in) my marriage to Ascander has been Heaven sent. I feel truly blessed to have a handsome, kind, funny husband and true partner in this life. If I never get anything else in this life, I can say I was married to my best friend. To me, that would truly be enough. 

When it came down to kids, we decided to wait at least a year after we married, so we could enjoy one another's company before bringing a tan, big haired baby into the mix. I decided to come off of birth control last April (2014), for our one year anniversary (so romantic!) and then we could begin trying. And, not going to lie, the trying is the fun part! Obviously! However, after a few months, I realized that year might not have been the best time. I was honestly hoping that after all of the grief and rough stuff we had been going through, maybe God would bless us with a bouncing baby, and bring joy back into our lives. 

After a few months, and lots of ovulation tests that came back positive (which is a good thing), I decided to just stop doing that. I don't know if I just got discouraged, or lazy, or what, but I stopped tracking my ovulation (because, boring!) and we just went on our merry (and married) business. We said, "Ok, January 2015, we're going to start trying for REAL, for real again." So, the first week of January, we started trying to make our family again. I honestly thought, this will all come naturally, don't worry. 

Fast forward to April, and we still hadn't conceived. Again, I reached a point of frustration and disappointment. I honestly feel like my body is working against me, and so part of this journey, is to figure out how to love myself again. However, at that time, I stopped using the ovulation tests again. I mean, bearing the burden of peeing on a stick every morning to see if "today is a good day to have sex!" starts to take it's toll on you. I don't know if sometimes you feel like the weight of all of it is on YOUR shoulders and YOURS alone, but I started just feeling stressed about it all. Like, "Ok, body, you gotta make things happen, and if you don't, ANOTHER month will go by." 

So, fast forward again to September of 2015. We decided to take it very seriously this time around, no matter what. I am very thankful that I have a husband that is willing to do all the nitty gritty with me, and make me realize I'm NOT alone in this. So many people don't even have that, so I have no problem counting my blessings in all of this. In September I had blood work done to see how my follicle count was. Most of the jargon and words used during these tests, confused me even more, but I muddled through it. Thank God for Google! My tests came back that my follicle count is mid to low. It's not LOW but it's not all that great either. Measuring how many follicles you have is a good indication of how much ovarian reserve (or eggs) that you have. And of course, during our lifetime, we shed some of those eggs during our period each month, so the reserve gets depleted each cycle. Yay for that! (insert eye roll)

So now, this is where we are. Each month we're tracking ovulation, I've gone to our OBGYN more times then I'd like to admit, and have already spent quite a bit of money on pills and shots, to boost my ovarian reserve and ovulation. My last Dr. appointment I nearly had an anxiety attack. Actually, maybe I did, it was pretty bad. I'm already spinning lots of plates with everything going on in my life and at work, and this seems to just be yet another plate, to add to the mix. A plate we want, granted, but a plate none the less. I decided from that moment on, no more Dr's appointments alone until we can get everything figured out. Each Dr's appointment is painful,lonely, cold (for some reason) and anxiety inducing. They say not to stress while you're trying to conceive, then they make you sit there for 2 hours waiting and THEN put you through procedures you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.

So, that's what's going on with me. We're doing everything we can do conceive naturally, but if that doesn't work, I'm going to be trying other methods, and I'll be sharing those as well. We may have to beg, borrow and steal, but we'll see. No matter what, I know God has a perfect plan, and I'm going to try my darndest to be OK with that plan! 

Because this blog is all about being intentional with your life, and stopping the comparison game, I wanted to share this very intentional journey with you. I'll be keeping you up to date with eating tips, exercise regimens, stress reducers, and some other fun intentional stuff while we're on this journey (like redecorating on a budget, simplifying, and the best skin care I have used!). If I can open up this conversation, I really want to. Life has a way of throwing curve balls at you, but I'm diving for this one. I decided, I'm not going to be scared of this and discouraged, I'm going to be brave and if you are in the same boat, let's be brave together. Please leave me a comment if you are dealing with these issues yourself, and if you have any tips and tricks to get through it. I'll share all I can while on this journey. All of my love goes to you dealing with infertility on any level. Let's do this! 

Hopeful in all things,  

Danae (& Ascander) 

OFFICIAL LAUNCH DAY!!

 

Let's celebrate everyone! Boxes of Hope is launching and we're excited! AND we're celebrating by offering a special deal to ALL of those who order TODAY (2.9.16) only. You'll be added to our drawing and we'll be sending YOU you're very own Box of Hope full of goodies! 

Today is a significant day, because 2 years ago, our beloved Devin (Suzi's son, Danae's brother), left us for his eternal reward. He battled Leukemia numerous times in his life, and February 9th,2014 is when we had to say goodbye here on Earth. Though this day is very hard for us and marks the date of us losing someone so special, we decided to launch on this day as a reminder of what an amazing person he was. His light still burns, and he is still making a difference, through Boxes of Hope. 

We currently have two types of boxes: Women's and Men's, but we'll be adding a few more options to the store soon, including children and teen boxes, as well as new mom boxes, ladies stuggling with infertility and those who have lost a chid. Hope is easy to lose site of in times of pain and sorrow, so we want to add a little light to those lives that need it the most! 

A percentage from the sale of each box will go towards 1) sending a child to Summer camp every year, 2) Funding a Christian college student in a foreign country, and 3) Bags of Hope, which is our in person gift delivery to those in hospitals going through treatments. Devin's message will carry on through this business, and hope and light will be spread to people all over. More than anything, we want to share the love of Christ and joy, so whomever receives these boxes, will know they are loved and prayed for. 

Send a box today and brighten someones life! Boxes of Hope-Delivering hope, one box at a time. 

Thank you for being a part of this journey! 

Danae & Suzi