Naja Luxury Lingerie

By December 19, 2014 Uncategorized
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I’m a sucker for fair-trade, socially responsible businesses so I was so excited when I stumbled across Naja, a luxury lingerie company that trains and employs single mothers to sew. I have major women crushes on fellow social entrepreneurs so Catalina Girald is someone I’d love to have coffee with or interview for a podcast. Naja’s pieces are absolutely beautiful and though I haven’t personally tried them yet, I’m excited to make my first purchase soon! Here are a few of my favorites:

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What do you think about Naja’s collection? 

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November Goals

By November 4, 2014 Uncategorized
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I’ve always been a goal setter and a chronic list-maker. I set my goals so high I make it hard to meet them. That’s why I love Hayley’s motto – “goals with grace.” Now that’s something I need to work on. So here they are for November:

1. Decrease tech time by 50%:  I confessed in my most recent post about  my unhealthy relationship with social media and my iPhone, so it’s time to do something about it.

2. Horseback ride at least once this month: Time to put my boots on and get in the saddle. I need to be refreshed and do more of what I love.

3. Stick to my sprint triathlon training plan: I committed to doing a sprint triathlon in February, but so far my training hasn’t been so hot. My goal is to stick to my training plan for the rest of the month! I can do this!

What are some of your November goals? I’d love to hear!

Hugs,

Allie

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Making a Cut: Addictions & The Choices that Can Set Us Free

By November 2, 2014 Uncategorized
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So I kind of have an addictive personality. When it comes to certain things I’m either all in or all out. It’s  honestly a big part of the reason why I’ve made the personal decision to not drink. I didn’t want to give alcohol any chance of damaging my life that way it has certain family members lives. As someone who has wrestled with depression, it didn’t make sense for me to fill myself with a depressant especially after a night of emotional drinking could have ruined me. And when it comes to social media, I have a totally addictive personality. I’m all in. I check my email all day long; constantly stroll through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I’m realizing I need an intervention. Today, this question popped in my head:

What, if you cut out of your life would potentially transform your life?

I have hope I’m able to relearn healthy patterns and have a balanced relationship with social media (and my phone).  It has its wonderful benefits. It’s clear to me though I have an unhealthy relationship with it. It’s robbing me of my productivity. It’s stealing my creativity. It’s coming between me and my closest relationships. And at the end of the day it’s robbing me of my joy. I can’t help but imagine how amazing it would be without social media entirely, yet I’m so wedded to it! I guess I, like so may are torn!

Maybe for you it’s not social media. Maybe it’s a secret addiction, an eating disorder, over-consumerism. But what if we did the hard thing? What if entertained the uncool question and cut it out of lives completely, maybe not forever, but maybe for at least a season? Do you think it could have the ability to totally transform our lives? I know it’s often not as easy as simply cutting it out, but what steps can you take towards freedom? Maybe it’s acknowledging you have a problem, admitting it to someone safe. As a follower of Jesus, I believe He is the ultimate life-transformer, but habits do have power over us. I’m flirting with what to do next, with this unhealthy relationship I’ve created in my life. Any tips are welcome!

So, what do you think? What needs reevaluating in your life?

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Setbacks and Comebacks

By September 23, 2014 Uncategorized
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Sometimes the comeback takes longer than the setback.

Have you experienced a setback in your life? A break up or a breakdown? Have you traveled down a path you never saw coming only to find yourself far off course from the live you imagined yourself living?  Two years ago almost to the day, due to a health crisis my life was in a downward spiral; a total train wreck. Coming back from this setback has been the biggest challenge of my life. Two years later  I’m so far from where I want to be. From who I want to be. I fear I’ll never make my way back. The detours of life offer the chance to shape our character. Our past can refine us, but it doesn’t define us. Remember that great comebacks take time.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 NIV

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Yellow Conference Recap

By September 4, 2014 Uncategorized
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 Photography by Brienne Michelle

“Courage is telling our story, not being immune to criticism.” ― Brené Brown

Truth is, I was pretty anxious to tell my story at the Yellow Conference last week. Prior to two years ago, my story fit in a nice, safe little box. I just struggled with depression — it was simple and relatively easy to understand. But I haven’t opened up much since two years ago or spoken out about the struggles I’ve gone through since so it was frightening to say the least. But at the Yellow Conference, I opened up about it – I shared nearly all of it. My talk didn’t go perfect as I wished I had – my hands were shaking, I had to read from some of my notes, but I did it. I showed up. I was vulnerable. God carried me through. And hopefully lives were touched.

I’m realizing it’s okay sometimes if things are messy; if things aren’t perfect. As I like to say, there is beauty in our brokenness. As someone wise once said:

“brokenness is a will always be a willing canvas for beauty.”

Sometimes it hurts to become real.

If you missed the Yellow Conference this year, I encourage you to attend next year! The speakers were inspiring and their messages were transformative. Joanna Waterfall, the creative visionary behind the Yellow Conference and her entire team did a phenomenal job. The details were exceptional and so well thought out. A highlight was having my two best friends to soak it all in with as well as meeting so many incredibly talented, kind and interesting women. You can follow the Yellow Conference on their website or Facebook page. Also, check out this year’s speakers through their website and social media sites, you won’t be disappointed.

Hannah Brencher
Caitlin Crosby
Natalie Warne
Lindsey Eryn Clark
Carlos Whittaker
Sarah Dubbledam
Caroline Howard
Promise Tangeman
Ashley Howell

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Overcoming the Shame and Stronghold of Depression and Mental Illness

By August 13, 2014 Uncategorized
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“It’s not your fault,” my dad said in his wise, loving voice, as we drove to the pharmacy for my first prescription of Prozac.

“Yes, it is,” I said with assurance. “This is my fault. I’m a bad person.”

I was eighteen years old and had just been discharged from the behavioral health partition of the hospital and diagnosed with severe depression. Deep-seeded insecurity, stress, perfectionism, and grave hormonal and physiological imbalances collided, shattering my picture perfect world into bits of broken pieces.

I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t talk. My body was alive. But there was no life within me.

My parents did their best to help me understand the diagnosis I had been given, which they too were just coming to grips with. I wasn’t buying it—I didn’t believe I was depressed, just that I was a horrible person who deserved to die and there was absolutely no hope for me.

Mental illness has been misunderstood and mistreated for so long because of its relative obscurity. An x-ray can show the exact fracture point of a broken bone, but without brain scans, which are expensive and difficult to do, you cannot see the physiology of a brain struggling with depression or anxiety. This leaves at least part of mental illness as somewhat intangible. And because we cannot see the source of the brokenness, we believe as a whole we are broken. We judge our character, when our chemistry, circumstances, or a number of other factors may be the problem.

Depression and mental illness remains a part of my story as it does for so many people, many of whom suffer in silence out of shame. Shame of being labeled, Shame of being ostracized. Shame of being misunderstood. Of being abandoned by friends.

If you are a church going person the shame factor is often magnified. You feel like if only you prayed harder, sinned less, read your Bible more, memorized scripture more your mental challenges would diminish. But that’s often not the case because they’re often not a spiritual issue. I personally liken my depression to an onion that had many layers: physiological and chemical, spiritual, and hormonal. As each layer was accurately addressed, so was my depression.

I believe God heals but sometimes it looks like doctors and medicine to get our brain chemistry right and we have to be okay with that. Clinical depression and mental illness is not a sin. It’s not your fault. You are wholly and dearly loved by God. Turn to Him. There is hope for you.

 

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Catalina Island Biking and Snorkeling Trip

By July 1, 2014 Uncategorized
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For our pre-anniversary celebration we headed over to Catalina for a three day adventure. We biked the entire island. We stayed one night with our friend Rodney at a Boy Scout camp who was a student in our youth group and who is now a senior leader. He set us up in an awesome tent cabin. The next morning we started our 27 mile trek to Avalon where we met up with Rodney’s family and our friends the Richmonds. We spent the next day snorkeling in the crystal clear waters and biking throughout the enchanting town of Avalon. It was an epic adventure and one I highly recommend, though the bike ride is definitely a challenge!

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Marvelously Made Vehicles for Living

By June 17, 2014 Uncategorized
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I guess I’m a slow learner, but lately on my HEAL Journey I’m having to remind myself of these truths I wrote for the first issue of Darling Magazine. I went stand up paddling last night and then for a jog with nothing but sand and seaweed under my toes. I was grateful to have air in my lungs and sea breeze in my hair.  It hasn’t been easy to honor my body the size that it’s at in this season, but I’m choosing gratitude. I’m choosing adventure. I’m choosing to see my body as a vehicle for life, not a project to be fixed. Here is a quote from my article “Your Personal Body Project” from the inaugural issue of Darling Magazine. I hope it encourages you as it continues to challenge me.

One day if you and I are lucky, we will be dripping with wrinkles from head to toe. Our days left on this earth will be close to none and for those of us who spent our lives in constant body angst, we will finally realize our legacy is not measured by the size we wear, but by the lives we lead. We’ll come face to face with the truth that we are not our body. We are a soul in a body that is perishing.

Our bodies are not broken; they are not projects that need fixing. They are marvelously made vehicles for living.

Allie Marie Smith, “Your Personal Body Project,” Darling Magazine

Do you struggle with seeing your body as a project that needs fixing rather than a beautifully complex vehicle for living?

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To Guide the Reflection {Darling Magazine Full Article}

By June 14, 2014 Uncategorized
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Hi Girls, For those of you who didn’t get a chance to buy or read issue 7 of Darling Magazine, I’m excited to share my full article “To Guide the Reflection” with you. To read it more clearly, simply click on the image of the article and it should appear larger. To make it even bigger, click “view” and “zoom in” on your computer. Happy reading! xo

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Photo-shoot Fun!

By May 28, 2014 Uncategorized
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We recently did a photo-shoot for Wonderfully Made with my friend Julia and I had some photos taken for fun. The last time I had photos taken was in my twenties and well, I no longer look like I’m in my twenties so I figured it was time for an update! Our photographer Lauren Porcher was so much fun to work with!

What I’m wearing:

Hat: Target
Top: Free People
Necklace: Raven + Lily
Boots: Frye

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