GUEST POST! By Summer Poole

I am so excited to go live with our next guest blog post!   By a fellow mom and businesswoman… and a friend!

I can’t recall exactly when we first met.  But I do remember the first time we worked together.  Knowing that I had a booth at the Outdoor Family Fair, and not having a space herself, she contacted me to see if she could join my spot and hand out flyers.  Why not?!  I quickly knew our personalities clicked… and she’s been stuck with me since.  😉

I’ve loved following along on her journey.  And I love cheering on her business.  Here is The Shabby Bus’ story….

 

 

“The Shabby Bus was a never part of our plan!!

We moved our family to Boerne during the summer of 2013 with a dream of raising our girls in a smaller town, and opening The Shabby Palette, an art studio with an after-school care program.  I had been a teacher for 9 years at NISD in San Antonio, and had dreamed of running a business working with children in a creative atmosphere.  An important part of the plan was to buy a small bus to use for transporting kids from local schools to the after-school art program.  We bought a 15-passenger shuttle bus from the Dallas Cowboy stadium in Arlington and drove it back home. While we didn’t know it at the time, this decision would change our lives.

Here’s the original Shabby Bus before any renovations. She was used previously as a parking lot shuttle bus at the Dallas Cowboys stadium, so she had very little mileage, but a ton of fun memories and happy energy.

 

The business plan of the art studio was put on hold while we settled into our new life in Boerne.  Our girls started school, and we got to know our community and neighbors.  The bus sat in the driveway and waited.

One day, close to Christmas break, I had a tough conversation with Brian.  I remember being stressed out over the fact that I needed to get to work at something…anything.  I had never not worked, and we really could have used the extra money for the holidays.  We considered lots of things, but it was a hard time of year to get work in any school and I really wanted something unique and creative to keep me busy.  At one point in the conversation I said, “What can I do?  All I have is this crazy bus!” To which Brian calmly replied, “Well, let’s use the bus.”

With Brian’s amazing master carpenter skills, and my thrifty creativity, we got to work on The Shabby Bus.  When I wasn’t painting or decorating the bus, I was researching the hill country hot spots and building a new business plan and website.  Before too long, we had a unique private tour bus that could make us the little bit of extra money our family needed.

Outside of Shabby Bus, after some love.

 

Inside of Shabby Bus, after some love.

 

We had no idea what we were doing in the beginning, but we learned quickly.  We got a special permit from the city, and started marketing on social media.  We contacted Boerne’s Parks and Recreation Department and put our shabby bus in the Boerne Weihnacht’s parade.  We booked our first few tours, learned what people really wanted to use a bus for, and created some fun tour ideas.  To date, our greatest advertisement has been word of mouth.  Our customers have had wonderful experiences and have told their friends and family.  We’ve had several repeat customers throughout the years. For this we feel extremely grateful and blessed.

Shabby Bus, after getting herself a new outfit.  A sweet group of couples visiting Becker Vineyards.

 

After about a year, we started getting so busy that we needed to add to our little business.  About that same time, Boerne ISD started to auction off some of their older buses, and a friend suggested we check it out.  I fought tooth and nail in the online auction for a specific bus that we thought would be perfect.  It was a small bus with very low miles, a fantastic AC system, and great maintenance records from the school district.  After several hours, we won Shabby # 2.  Once again, Brian and I got to work.

Brian tore out all the seats, and built all new custom benches inside.  She got trimmed out with wood shelves, a new sound system, and some fun paint and decorations.  We had a great mobile mechanic (thanks Tye Thornton) fix the few things she needed mechanically, and we started booking this bus almost immediately.

Brian enjoys some fun times while cleaning out bus #2.

 

A group of friends make a stop at Luckenbach on the new Shabby Bus.

 

Since the fall of 2013, we’ve hosted hundreds of wine tours, beer tours, weddings, birthday parties, proms, concert shuttles, bachelorette parties, Christmas light tours, reunions, and just fun nights out for friends and families.  We have groups contact us for unique and original ideas all the time, and we’ve been used as a fun “SURPRISE” party several times.  This has been such a fun adventure, and one we never had even planned.  God is so good, y’all!

So many ladies use us to celebrate birthdays, engagements, bridal showers, reunions, or just a fun girls’ day out.

 

We’ve booked our buses for BISD proms every year since we’ve been in business. It’s a fun and unique alternative to a stretch limo.

 

Groups of friends use us to see different parts of the hill country without worrying about taking 3 or 4 cars. They get to enjoy their cold beverages, great music, and conversation all while arriving at every location safely. Enjoy the journey and the destination!

 

Brides and grooms book our buses to shuttle their wedding guests safely to their venues. We offer fun, unique, and safe transportation for family and friends on their special day.

 

We recently bought our third bus.  It is our first full sized bus, and we are building it to hold 30 people.  It will be perfect for weddings and private events that need to have larger groups of people shuttled at a time.  Our plan is to keep the design a little more classic and simple (think elegant farmhouse).  We’ll have a wet bar in the back and a much more “loungy” feel.  We estimate that it will be finished by the end of the summer and ready to book for fall 2017.

We are having a blast working on our biggest Shabby Bus yet!

 

Crown Carpenter bus with a classic flat nose and tons of style.

 

Please keep an eye on us.  We’re always working on something new, and we’re always growing (in some way).

You can follow us @ www.shabbybus.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/shabbybus

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shabbybus/

With much peace and love. Always stay shabby. ❤, Summer Poole

Thanks to Amy from Shutter-Happy Photography and From Scratch Farm for hosting this blog.  I really enjoyed the journey it took me on 😊”

 

 

GUEST POST BY SUMMER POOLE  (Who adds on her website, “Don’t worry about who’s going to drive.  Don’t worry about parking.  Don’t worry about taking two or three cars.  Don’t worry about safety.  Just worry about booking your day before someone else does!”  So get to it!)

My picture of Summer (and her daughters) modeling our From Scratch Farm logo baseball tee 🙂  ——————->

 

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Our Magical History Tour!

I’ll start with the fact that the trip still had me programmed to get up super early yesterday.  But I quickly went back to bed for a two-hour nap.  And today I slept until 9:00, laid in bed watching TV until 1:00.  Hoping I’m now recovered…

But the story begins over a year ago, when Ben brought home information for this WorldStrides trip.  Of course, I was surprised by the cost.  But when we went through the list of stops that the trip would be making, it was a no-brainer that Ben needed to go on this trip.  When asked if he wanted to go on his own, with his dad, or with me, I was surprised with his answer.  So we spent quite some effort making extra money for both of us to go.

MONDAY:

The actual five-day whirlwind began at 2:30 on Monday morning, when all of us met at the middle school, loaded our luggage onto our buses, and headed to the airport.  (Thanks to two wonderful kids that sat with me and the funny Southwest Airlines flight attendants, my first plane ride in over 15 years was a great one.)

 

We arrived in Baltimore, took a bus to DC, and then met up with our tour guide (Darren) for the day.

We first got to see the White House.

 

 

We grabbed lunch at a food court.

Toured Ford’s Theater.

 

And then had a wonderful guided tour of the US Capitol.  (This was my favorite part of that day.  The capitol was beautiful.  The tour guide knew his stuff and obviously loved his job.  And we learned some really cool tidbits about the building, painting, statues, etc.)

 

 

 

 

We snagged a photo of the Washington Monument and toured the Jefferson Memorial.

 

 

 

 

We walked the grounds of the FDR Memorial.

 

And spent some time at the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial.  (By this time I’m pretty overwhelmed by the greatness of the city, sites, and quotations… and I’m in tears.)

 

 

We grabbed dinner at a little cafe and then headed to the hotel for the night.

TUESDAY:

After an early breakfast at the hotel, we were on the bus again, with the first stop being the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial.

 

 

We walked over and toured the Lincoln Memorial.  (No one’s photos can do this justice.  It is grand and so beautiful.  My eyes leaked again…)

 

 

 

And then we caught a few minutes of the D-Day ceremony as we walked around the World War II Memorial.

 

 

After a quick lunch, we got to spend a while in the Holocaust Museum (probably the most beautiful and heart-breaking building  and exhibit I’ve ever been in).

 

 

We spent the whole afternoon walking around Arlington Cemetery, touring Robert E Lee’s home, and watching the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

 

 

We stopped at the Pentagon Memorial, and happened to catch a past employee who was happy to visit with us and tell us his stories of being in the building the day of the tragedy.  (He spoke of the fact that he was in the building, but no one from their department even knew the plan had hit.  He talked of the feelings, of friends lost.  He said he could see the building burn for the five days from his home.  He talked of the 8+ feet of water in the basement that scuba divers explored before they had to pump the whole building.  He told us the whole story of the rebuilding process.  And he let us in on the fairly unknown fact that the Pentagon’s groundbreaking ceremony took place on September 11, 1941!)

After dinner at an Italian restaurant and a night’s sleep at our hotel, it was time for the second part of our trip.

WEDNESDAY:

We woke up early again, had breakfast, and made the bus ride to New York.  (Totally different activity, noise, and stress level… this city took me a while to get used to!)  😉

Our first stop was lunch in Grand Central Station.

 

We stopped at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trump Tower.  And our new tour guide (Robert) let us all roam around 5th Avenue and the Rockefeller Center areas.

 

 

 

 

 

Ben and I celebrated National Chocolate Ice Cream Day… and then I got him to the Lego store.

 

 

After our first (and very stressful) subway ride, we boarded our boat for a beautiful and fun dinner cruise around the bay, under the Brooklyn Bridge, and past the Statue of Liberty.  (Lady Liberty took my breath away.  And I cried again.  Funny how emotions overflowed for me on this trip)

 

 

 

 

 

THURSDAY:

A good night’s sleep and breakfast at a local diner, we took off on our longest day of the trip.

We took a boat ride out to Ellis Island for a tour.

 

We got to have lunch at a local park.

 

We toured the September 11th Museum.

 

We got all dressed up for dinner at Dave & Buster’s and seeing The Lion King on Broadway!  (This was grand!  The props and costumes were amazing!  And Ben’s favorite part of the trip!)

 

And then everyone was let loose on Times Square for a couple of hours!!!

 

 

FRIDAY:

Our tour guide took us to breakfast (where a few of us moms quickly gobbled down some food and then snuck off to the Hershey’s and M&M stores).

 

Then we were off to visit Central Park and the September 11th Memorial.  (I came across one person’s name with a white rose, indicating it was her birthday that day.)

 

 

Then we headed to the top of the World Trade Center.  (102 stories up, the view of the area was incredible!!!)

 

 

 

Last, we walked through the Wall Street area and visited Fearless Girl before hopping on our bus to the airport, to head back home to San Antonio.

 

We were back to the middle school by 11:00 that night and back in our own beds quickly after.

Ben’s favorite part of the trip?  The Lion King!  My favorite parts?  Our wonderful DC tour guide (who obviously loved his job and was great with our kids), seeing Lady Liberty, and the view from World Trade Center’s observatory!  Also loved the Broadway show, the fact that everything was already planned for us and paid for, that we were totally prepared for the 6-10 miles of walking that we did each day, that I made some great mom friends while there, and that I had a fantastic roommate the whole time.

We learned SO much!  And wonderful memories were made!

If anyone has a chance to send their child on this trip, I would definitely recommend it!  And if you have the chance to go with your kiddo, go!

PS- A BIG thank you to the friends and family that helped us raise money for the trip… and to the teachers/coaches along for the ride (especially Mama Hen Mrs. Rust), who kept our kids happy and safe and were so welcoming to us parents!!!

2 Responses to “Our Magical History Tour!”

  1. Amy

    The cost is shocking. Especially when I looked at both Ben and I going. But you saw how much I fundraised and how much I sold off. It’s doable!
    And I was never a history buff. Thanks to my teachers in school, I really wasn’t interested at all. But learning history through Ben’s eyes, and through this trip, it was amazing!
    I am SO glad we both went!!! So let Alana talk you into it. 😉

  2. Summer

    Awesome, Amy!! Alana really wants to go on this trip next June, but the cost is hard for me to swallow. She’s also not a huge history buff. I do think that a trip like this may open her eyes and make her one though. Great info 🙂

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There’s An Oil For That!!!

Is there really, you may ask?  I think so!  At least, for our day-to-day needs!

 

I’ll start with how I discovered essential oils.  It was during my “googling” several years ago, to learn more about raising chickens, collecting rainwater, and making homemade body products.  Along with many articles I found, I was also finding posts about the benefits of essential oils.  After lots of research, I quickly made the decision to try out the best (doTERRA)… and try out some of their most useful (to me) varieties.

We use them in our products, in diffusers, topically, internally.  Seriously, all the uses!

 

The oils I LOVE, but currently only use them in our products:

Rosemary

Melaleuca (Tea Tree)

Eucalyptus

 

Can’t live without single oils:

Lavender- a sweet, refreshing scent; calming and relaxing effects

 

Peppermint- a minty, refreshing scent; cooling, awakening; freshens breath, eases breathing, can settle an upset stomach

(I add peppermint to our lavender healing salve, to cool and relieve sunburn)

 

Lemon- zesty, citrus scent; cleansing and uplifting effects

 

(Combining the lavender, peppermint, and lemon makes for fantastic allergy relief)

 

Grapefruit- fresh, sweet scent; cleansing and invigorating

 

My favorite oil blends:

Deep Blue- earthy, minty scent; soothing and cooling

On Guard- spicy, citrus scent; supports healthy immune function

 

InTune- spicy, refreshing scent; enhances the senses and sustains focus

 

DigestZen- gingery, minty scent; aids in food digestion and soothes upset stomach

 

PastTense- minty scent; can calm tension and stress, can ease headaches

Purify- earthy, citrus scent; refreshes, replaces unpleasant odors, clears the air

 

TerraShield- strong woodsy scent; an effective, natural barrier against nature’s pests

 

 

But, of course, there are SO many more!  And I hear, there are several that people are crazy about that I don’t even own yet!

If you would like to know more about the doTERRA company or about essential oils, you can get lots of help on their site and social media platforms.

Website

Instagram

Facebook

If you’d like some local Boerne help, answers, or support, I am available any time during my shop hours- Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and some Saturdays noon to 6:00.

And if you’d like to join us for our very first essential oils class, we would love to have you!

Facebook Invite

 

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Camp Well

So, there was an inspirational and uplifting four-day camp in Fredericksburg last month.  And our body scrubs and healing salves attended!  😉

 

 

Camp Well is described as:

“Camp Well will be four days of the perfect balance of workshops, breakout sessions, one on one mentor sessions, an outdoor experiences that will be the catalyst for:

  • Reflecting on our gifts & identity and shedding fear and distractions
  • Refocusing our values and priorities
  • Resetting our goals with strategy
  • Resting from the busy and overwhelm
  • Rejoicing in the Lord’s authorship of it all, lots of laughs, late night chats and wine of course

for

the woman who needs a break from the busy to rest and refocus on the big dreams she has in life, ministry and/or business. It’s the perfect experience for:

  • The overwhelmed dreamer who doesn’t know where to start
  • The weary doer who needs rest and balance
  • The inspired servant who wants to start a non-profit
  • The high functioning leader who needs to be reminded of their “why”
  • The lonely mom who has lost her identity
  • The passionate single ready to dream big
  • The ambitious professional balancing career and dreams
  • The busy business owner who needs to reset her strategies and find answers to questions”

 

 

I watched as they posted pictures on instagram of their swag bags (which included our products), the beautifully-set tables for meals, their margarita bar, their outing to Enchanted Rock, and pictures of their wonderful speakers.  I followed along as the ladies ate, hiked, socialized, dreamed, prayed, supported one another, and enjoyed their stay at Fredericksburg’s Hoffman Haus.  It was obviously the perfect place for dreamers, doers, and entrepreneurs!

 

 

It definitely seemed like the place to be for making connections, finding inspiration, for dreaming and doing, for relaxation and unplugging.

 

 

Thankful to the ladies that let me be a part of this.  And hoping everyone loved the swag bags… especially our products.

 

 

 

Want to know more about Camp Well?

Website

Facebook

Instagram

 

 

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TRAVEL TEXAS- Son’s Island

I had fallen in love with the place just through photos on instagram.  So I couldn’t wait to go.  Made reservations for Mother’s Day, invited my parents, and planned the weekend.

 

The island is a 3.5 acre island in the middle of Lake Placid in Seguin.  An easy-access spot right off of I-10, you get to the island by driving over a one-lane wooden bridge, check into your reservation, unload your items at your spot, and park in the lot.

 

Starting with the small details, your private cabana is a little piece of paradise.  Each one has a great bar and bar stools, lots of seating, a table, a ceiling fan, electrical outlets, a hose and nozzle, a bar-b-q pit, and a picnic table.  The cabanas that are built on decks have two hammock swings.  The cabanas on the land have one hammock… and then they have their own little deck over the water.

 

The big details make the place even cuter.  There’s comfy grass everywhere, surrounded by beautiful tropical plants and large cypress and pecan trees.  The water is clean and cool.  There is a floating trampoline, a large slide, and rope swings.  There is a sand volleyball court.  They have kayak and paddleboard rentals.  There are even tents and two Airstreams that you can rent if you want to stay overnight

 

 

Our experience was awesome.  The boys and I arrived and got settled in just before my parents got there.  In no time, they were riding bikes while we adults bar-b-q’d.  After a delicious lunch of bacon-wrapped shrimp, fish tacos, veggies, watermelon, and apple pie, we spent the afternoon kayaking around the island over and over again (we even pulled Ben behind the kayak in our donut inner tube a couple of times).  😉  The kids had a blast with their water guns and bike riding.  We all enjoyed the gorgeous weather and the great company.  Is was an amazing Mother’s Day!!!!!!

 

 

I left happy, I got “thank yous” on the way home, and we got some fun pictures and memories!  So we’re giving it a big thumbs up… and a “we want to go back!” rating.  Loved this trip!

 

Some things to know?

You have to rent the cabana in advance of your trip.  You can easily do so on their website.  (Rates are for 8 guests.  You can have up to 12 people at your cabana, but those extras must pay an entrance fee.)  And at that time, you can also rent your kayak or paddleboard for the day (so that it’s waiting at your deck the minute you arrive).  Rates were pretty high for this single mom.  But the amenities were fantastic.  And every penny was worth the fun we had.  You can bring your own boat or jet ski.  You can bring your fishing gear too.  Don’t forget your usual camping gear- towels, charcoal, lighter fluid, ice, food and drinks, sunscreen, bug repellent, etc.

 

Want to know more?  Get questions asked?  Ready to book?

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Whether you travel there from near or far… hope you love it… and hope you’re always having fun when you TRAVEL TEXAS!!!!!!

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GUEST POST! By JoAnn Schroeder

Did you know that May 1st was National Chocolate Parfait Day?!  Just found that out, as I was getting ready to post this week’s guest blog post!  But this is no ordinary chocolate parfait recipe that I’m about to share.  Why, you ask?  Because it was submitted by our very own children’s dental office!  😉

We’ve been going to Little Smiles Dentistry for years, and have know JoAnn for  a while.  Was excited when she said she’d come model for me.  Was thrilled when she said she’d have a new recipe for me!!!

 

 

“From the Desk of a Pediatric Dental Hygienist …

Everyone knows the “drill” for caring for your kiddos teeth…

  • Bruch twice a day, for two minutes each time.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Use a fluoride mouthrinse at bedtime.
  • Visit the dentist regularly.

BUT we must not forget how much diet plays a role in the health of their teeth. Does your little one have a sweet tooth?  Sugary treats lead to tooth decay, so how can we enjoy sweets without causing tooth decay?  Below is a KID APPROVED low sugar dessert recipe that will satisfy!

 

 

Low Sugar Chocolate Parafait

Serving Size/Yields

1 Parafait/6

Ingredients

1 Can Sugar Free Cool Whip

1 Large Box Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding (use low fat milk)

Bananas and/or Strawberries

Optional: Chocolate Graham Cracker Crumbles

Directions

  1. Begin by following directions on pudding package.
  2. Layer ½ cup pudding, fruit of choice, graham cracker crumbs (if using), repeat once more and top with 2 tbsp of whipped topping.
  3. Enjoy this quick and easy dessert!

 

 

 

Here’s the science behind the process of tooth decay.

The bacteria on the teeth feed off the sugar and produce an acid that slowly dissolves the tooth’s outer layer; enamel.  Enamel is the part of the tooth that is visible when you look in the mouth.  It is considered to be the hardest substance in the body and it’s primary purpose is to protect your teeth from damage!  However, the more sugar that is consumed throughout the day, the higher the risk of developing tooth decay.

Here at the dentist, we know kids will be kids.  And, we as parents have to remember, everything in moderation!  It’s all a balancing act.  Happy smiles is what’s important!  Until next time…

 

Happy Brushing-

JoAnn Schroeder, RDH at Little Smiles Dentistry

 

 

GUEST POST BY JOANN SCHROEDER (Proud mom, Boerne-ite, defender of teeth.)

My picture of JoAnn modeling our THANK YOU post card  🙂  ——————->

 

 

 

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GUEST POST! By Courtney Mosier

I’m excited to go live with our next guest blog post!  And one by someone I love following on instagram!

The funny thing is, she’s not a business.  She doesn’t teach me how to be a better entrepreneur, expose me to new recipes, keep me up to date with what’s happening around Boerne, or let me peak into the world of fashion and travel (which is pretty much all I follow).  But boy does she inspire me with her beautiful photography!!!  

And always thankful that she follows and supports our page… and volunteered for this gig!  😉  When asked to write this guest blog post, she was unsure of what to do.  But I love her take on:

Magnolia Market at the Silos!!!

 

 

“Texas is a big place, filled with so many fun, adventurous places to visit. I had the pleasure of recently going to Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco, Texas. Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s show Fixer Upper have created quite the destination, which includes two huge grain silos and a large barn and a very welcoming atmosphere.  There is something to be found for everyone at the Silos. Ladies can shop, husbands can wander around the property and the silos (plus there is an area of manly items endorsed by Chip!), and the kids can enjoy games on the lawn.

The Market is full of house decor that you can shop and get ideas from just like you see on the show. It showcases Joanna’s design vision. The Market emphasizes home-design and accent pieces, including Joanna’s Signature Candles. As Joanna says, “bless your home.”

 

 

Pop into the Seed + Supply shed for all your gardening needs. It was nice to walk around outside and admire the beautiful garden beds. They make me wish I had more of a green thumb.

 

 

A must do is the Bakery! Pick up a sweet treat, and I highly recommend the cupcakes and melt-in-your-mouth cookies. Make sure to get extra to take home-you’ll be glad you did! A stop is necessary at the Common Grounds trailer to grab a coffee. Enjoy some sips on the lawn or while you stroll the grounds.

 

 

Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at one of the vendors that line the property.  There were at least 6 food trucks to choose from and I had the bbq chicken pizza from the 900 Pizzeria. Oh my, I am telling you, it was the best pizza I have ever tasted.

If you couldn’t tell by now, this girl loves food!

 

 

While you are there, take the time to explore Waco. It is a charming town with so much to do. Take a tour of the Dr. Pepper Museum, stop at The Findery home decor store, or have a picnic in Cameron Park.

So, get your friends, gather your family, hop in the car, buy that plane ticket, and get on your way to enjoy all the charm this picturesque place has to offer. You won’t regret it! Make sure to bring along your camera, you’ll be glad you did.

A little tip; if you do not want to fight the crowds, be sure you plan to go earlier in the week rather than the weekend. Preferable in the afternoon after the lunch crowd moves on.  Magnolia averages 20,000-30,000 people a week with almost 10,000 just on Saturday. There will probably always be a line at the bakery, but it does move fast! Magnolia is definitely a fun destination to check out in Texas.”

Courtney’s instagram page- @wandering.blonde

 

GUEST POST BY COURTNEY MOSIER (Her ig bio says she’s “a wild, wandering soul.  loved by the maker of the stars.  photographer.  chocolate and coffee addict.  my life is a blonde moment.  texas y’all.”  When I asked her what she could tell me about herself, she replied with a simple “I’m just a photography and adventure loving girl who’s getting her bachelors degree right now in Healthcare Management.”  When asked more about her photography background, she added “I have had a love of photography since I was young. I always had a camera growing up and was always taking pictures. I did photography while I was in 4-H in middle school and got considered for state more than once. After saving my money for a long time!! Last year, I took the plunge and got a Canon 5d mark iii. It is a lot of camera for me, maybe too much but I enjoy learning to use the camera more and more each day. A lot of my photos are also taken from my iPhone. I love being able to express myself through photos and to use my creativity!”)

My picture of Courtney modeling our mason jar, BUY LOCAL, long sleeved tee 🙂  ——————->

 

 

 

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GUEST POST! By Sarah Keeling

I’m so excited to have our first guest blog post!  And one by someone I SO admire!

We’ve been following each other’s accounts on instagram for a while, have participated in the same Boerne Handmade Market, even tried to pull off a Small Business Saturday event together.  But this is the first time we’ve really worked closely.  When I made the call for models, Sarah gladly volunteered.  She chose to model one of our laundry detergents.  And she let me in on her idea for her clothes and posing.  Who knew she’d have her very own “Laundry Slayer” t-shirt design?!  So, we worked through a photo shoot…. and I invited her to pour her heart out about her passion and her business.  Sit back and see the incredible impact she’s having on our world…

 

 

“I read a blog that changed my life.

I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s true.

I didn’t know that over 1 billion people around the world do not have the Bible in their heart language.

I didn’t know that so many people without the Bible live in oral cultures.

I didn’t know that women in these cultures are often especially mistreated.

When I read Ann Voskamp’s blog post about The Esther Initiative, my eyes were opened to the urgent need for God’s word in the lives of so many women around the world. One group of women was especially desperate for this hope. These ladies from South Asia traveled far and gave up much to learn how to share scripture in their heart languages. These “Esther ladies” went from being broken and outcast to having the confidence to share hope with large groups in their communities.

Bible translation has been going on for a long time, but Seed Company was trying something different: an oral Bible story-telling project totally focused on women.

I was fascinated.

As I read through the struggles so many of these storytellers faced, God began to remind me of all the times that His word gave me comfort, hope, and peace.

You see, I went through an especially dark time when I had to cling to the promises I knew were true because I couldn’t even feel any hope on my own. My infant son was very sick, and my body rebelled against me with a vicious autoimmune disorder. I spent weeks in bed in severe pain. I was so sick that I couldn’t even read, so a friend suggested that I use the YouVersion app and listen to the Bible. I did, and God did not disappoint me. He met me right there in my mess, and He brought me out of my despair.

After reading Ann’s blog post, that scene from my past was vividly clear in my mind. I could not imagine how I would have survived without having access to God’s word in the language that speaks to my heart.

I thought, If they don’t have God’s word in their heart language, how will they know that He is the God of all hope? How will they know that He is the God who sees them? How will they know that He is close to the brokenhearted?

These ladies in South Asia were suffering, abused, and neglected – and I knew that I wanted to help them have the hope, comfort, and peace that God’s word provided me in my dark times.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to help though. I mean, I was “just a mom.” Well, God took care of that. He gently nudged me to fulfill my dream of selling encouraging t-shirts. You see, I had created a superhero to help me tackle my laundry: the Laundry Slayer. Washing clothes is my least favorite chore, and while I am very thankful to have restored health, I struggled with the day-to-day realities of caring for my family. I wanted to encourage other ladies who might also struggle with laundry or other unseen service. That’s why the theme verse for Heart Work Tees is Colossians 3:23 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

 

 

God made all the pieces of launching a new business fall into place, and I knew that I wanted to donate all of the profits to these incredible ladies in South Asia.

In the two years since I learned about this oral Bible storytelling project known as The Esther Cluster, I have had the privilege of sitting down with one of the project’s founders. She shared hours of stories about whole communities being transformed through these once-broken, now confident storytellers.

I remember one story of a woman who was learning to share the story of Hannah. This storyteller had undergone many struggles and was unable to have children. She was heartbroken.  After learning this story, she told the workshop leader that she was going to pray in faith for a baby. Guess what? She became pregnant and was overjoyed that God answered her prayers! She was sad because she had to take a break from the training program due to her miraculous pregnancy, but I don’t doubt that she went back to her community and shared God’s goodness with all who would listen.

These ladies are having an incredible impact on their country, and I am both humbled and honored to have had a small part in this ministry.

 

 

In fact, The Esther Cluster was so successful that Seed Company replicated it in Ethiopia with another group of mistreated, outcast ladies. Now these ladies are outrageously expanding the ministry, training hundreds of storytellers and sharing God’s word with thousands. What started as a translation project has turned into an evangelism and discipleship program – all because God’s word suddenly comes alive when it is in a language that speaks to the heart.

It is my privilege to partner with these ladies in SouthAsia and Ethiopia. Heart Work Tees has raised over $7,000 toward supporting women Bible translators, which is incredible to me. We can be a part of what God is doing around the world. Every single person who bought a t-shirt has played a part in this amazing ministry, and I can’t wait to see how God will use Heart Work Tees in the future.”

links:

http://annvoskamp.com/2014/05/half-the-sky-when-youre-ready-to-act-to-bring-all-girls-back-the-esther-initiative/

https://theseedcompany.org/heart-work-initiative

 

www.heartworktees.com

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GUEST POST BY SARAH KEELING (A ladypreneur who lives on a ranch with her husband and six year old son near Boerne.  Active in their local church and community.  Total supporters of other small businesses.  Proud to be using super soft blend shirts from Next Level Brand, a company with extra WRAP certifications, ensuring fair treatment of workers)

PHOTOS COURTESY OF HEARTWORK TEES AND SEED COMPANY

And one courtesy of me 😉  —————————->

 

 

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TRAVEL TEXAS- The Jersey Barnyard

This was our third visit to The Jersey Barnyard, and it was still a little bit of a magical experience!

 

Yes, the drive is long.  And it can get a little dirty.  But where else can you enjoy all these cute farm animals, eat some Blue Bell ice cream, shop, and bottle-feed a calf and/or milk a cow?!  (And honestly, wouldn’t you expect to have to watch your step on a farm?)  😉

 

 

To start from the beginning, The Jersey Barnyard is located in LaGrange.  The farm is a 100-year old, 4-generation piece of heaven in the beautiful Texas hill country… home to the Frerich family, approximately 100 milking cows, and lots of the other usual suspects.

 

 

I discovered the farm on instagram a few years back.  Loved following the family’s story and knowing that their cows were being used for Blue Bell marketing.  Knew that it would be a wonderful photography opportunity for the boys.  And knew that we would all enjoy it.

Now it’s a tradition!

 

 

This time around… Ben spent at least an hour photographing the chickens and guineas.  Evan made friends with the bunnies.  I got attacked by the over-enthusiastic ducks (they apparently love to have their picture taken!).  We fed the goats.  I enjoyed the donkey (SO friendly and incredibly soft).  We spread a blanket by the sheep that I picnic’d with when he was a baby just two years ago.  We gobbled with the turkeys.  I bottle-fed one of the jersey calves.  We browsed the gift shop (came home with cute flamingo socks for me and barnyard erasers for Evan).  And we enjoyed Blue Bell ice cream under the shade trees.

 

 

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect.  And between the animals, ice cream, and a Buc-ee’s stop… we had a wonderful time.

 

 

If you’d like to learn more about the farm, or are ready for a visit:

Be prepared to pay an entrance fee or for the guided tour (where you’ll get to feed just about every animal, learn about each one, take the hay ride back to the barns and dairy, and get to milk a cow!).

3117 State Hwy 159 LaGrange, TX 78945

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Tell them I sent ya!  And have fun when you TRAVEL TEXAS!!!

 


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Peggy’s on the Green

Everyone that lives here in Boerne knows the town is rich in history.  One big part of that history is Ye Kendall Inn.  Established in 1859, it started out as a homestead with extra rooms that the owners rented out to horsemen and stagecoach travelers.  Through the years (and many owners), the inn has been added to, modernized, and revived… being able to give its guests a homey but vintage experience… and being able to accommodate both large and small groups.

One big addition to the inn (that came with quite a bit of buzz last year) is Chef Mark Bohanan’s newest restaurant, Peggy’s on the Green (a South-inspired, all-American eatery).  And while I admit, it did take me a while to get over there… I found it bright, welcoming, homey, and delicious… and wondered why it took me so long to try!

 

 

 

My story:

Just a few weeks ago, a best friend (Allison) and I enjoyed our first lunch at Peggy’s.  A beautiful day, we sat outside on the porch.  She had the pimento cheese burger.  I got the citrus fruit salad.  And we shared an order of onion rings.  SO delicious… that when I was invited back, I jumped at the chance!

This time I made a stop at the bar for a Kendall cocktail (a light, refreshing, fruity mix of vodka, Pimm’s No. 1, lime, orange, strawberry, and cucumber), as I waited for Allison to meet up with me again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then we moved onto lunch in the dining room.  Wanting to try completely different items, I got the prime rib sandwich (delicious, thinly-sliced prime rib with Texas white bbq sauce on a brioche bun) and green goddess potato salad.  She got the salisbury steak (Akaushi beef sauteed in a red wine reduction) with potatoes, green beans, and a buttermilk biscuit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then we added on dessert with a slice of chess pie (a custard-y pie with a rich caramel sauce, whipped cream, fresh fruit, and mint).

 

 

 

Of course, there are still several items on the lunch menu that I want to try.  I heard brunch is fabulous.  And the dinner menu looks divine.  So I will definitely be back!

If you’d love to check out their social media or want to browse their menu before your stop…

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Now, GO!!!

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