Raised to NEW life

I’ve known Jesus long enough to know that becoming a Christian doesn’t make all your problems go away, or that the minute you decide to follow him your life suddenly becomes easy.

But it wasn’t until this year that God turned me on my head, shook me around a bit [in love and gentleness, of course ;)] and unscaled my eyes to what it really means to be a Christian. He took my complacent, comfortable faith that looked more like a “Christian spin on the American Dream,” and showed me what is truly means to Follow Jesus… to know him, love him and be his disciple.

Discipleship comes at a cost, as with all good things!  Scripture is clear that following Jesus is a narrow road and trials can be guaranteed on this journey. But consider the cost of non-discipleship.  As Dallas Willard writes…

“Non-discipleship costs abiding peace, a life penetrated by love, faith that sees everything in the light of God’s overriding governance for good, hopefulness that stands firm in the most discouraging of circumstances, power to do what is right and withstand evil.  In short, it costs exactly that abundance of life Jesus said he came to bring—that is life lived on its highest plane.”

For me, Baptism was an outward sign of this inward transformation. It was a public declaration that not only do I believe in Jesus, I choose to follow him… wherever he may lead me and in obedience to where he will call me.

And as I descended into the water, my old self- my ambitions, my expectations, my priorities, my past, my insecurities, my idols, everything- was buried with him and raised to new life…

… Not just a revamped version of my old self, but completely new! His love, His Mission, His purposes become my own; His strength, His victory, His wholeness now mine!

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As you move, I'm right beside you
Lord, I'm running after you
 I wanna be where you are
I'm chasing you, I'm so in love
 captivated, I just can't get enough
 I'll spend my days running after your heart
This life, this love
 Was always meant to be
 A wild crazy adventure
 Discovering, the thrill, the rush
 The more of you I see,
 The more it leaves me wanting your everything
you've won me heart and soul And where you lead I'll go
 Bethel Music - Chasing You 

While my journey’s been a windy road, I know this is just the beginning. Baptism was just an another step in surrendering and letting Go to a God who can be trusted and is worth far more than I could ever hope for on this earth.

I’ve merely tasted His love and goodness and I want more…. all of Him and less of me!

Read Kailey-Michelle’s full length personal testimony HERE


A different kind of Christmas

For weeks, I’ve been sharing my heart about “The Me I Want to Be.”

While the focus is discovering our uniqueness in Christ and using the talents and gifts he’s blessed us with to bless others, it’s deeper than that for me. The event was birthed from this video, which struck a resounding cord…

There’s a hunger for more out there; in not only our every day ordinary lives, but in the Christmas season. For so many, our eyes have been unveiled to see the luster of commercial Christmas fade.

We no longer want to buy into that, especially as women who love Jesus with all our hearts and desire to live to the hilts for him!

Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, whether you know him personally yet or not. [I pray you one day do, if you do not already. He’s turned my world upside down and for the better]

And what do people get for their birthday? Presents, showers of praise and adoration- not to mention cake and a wealth of people calling or dropping by to show you they care.. that you matter and today, of all days is special because of YOU.

But not Jesus. No, we’ve made his birthday about us….

In many cases, he’s lucky to get a quick 1 hour visit Christmas morning or 2 minute “call” to wish him Happy Birthday!

If we get wrapped presents for our birthdays and get to celebrate the way we’d like to with those we love, then why don’t we do that for Jesus’ birthday?

How can we trick ourselves into thinking anything other than love under the tree and acts of mercy, love and kindness, will make our Christmas truly merry and bright?

The Birthday boy tells us what He wants….

“Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me. ~ Matthew 25:40”

jesus birthday

In our family, THIS is how we’ve done it and will continue to this year.  We took the money we would normally spend on ourselves and each other and put into into 25 days of blessing others, in his name. And taking inspiration from Ann Voskamp, we’ll each be choosing a birthday gift for Jesus, Christmas morning out of the greatest gift catalogues I know of –  This one and this one too!

So let me ask you, are you craving a different kind of Christmas? One with deeper meaning and centred on acts that will stand the test of time?

Join me and the countless other women who are doing something radical- taking back Christmas and in turn celebrating Jesus’ birthday the way he’d want to and showering him with gifts that warm him heart.

My secret Weapon.

There comes those weeks when you feel the never ending weight of to-do’s. And while you move at lightening speed, placing every task to bed, the list seems never ending.  On those weeks, I want nothing more than to scream to the conductor,

“stop the carosoul and let me off!”   “Can I stop the world for even one day?!”  I beg. Please tell me you can relate!

I could blame the work load, my demanding projects, or simply complain about busyness, but reality is, no one but me can help myself. It’s in my hands to change my perspective and make my days count. And count they should!

After all, I’ve been blessed immeasurably so that I may be a blessing to others…. to you! 

And without fail, each and every time, like a defeated dog with my tail between my legs, I find a quiet corner to reflect, regroup and reignite.

Meet my secret weapon…..



While this beautiful image may be new, it’s principals are tried and true- the backbone to my rebirth with “Making Brands Happen.” I find, that when my weeks bare even the smallest resemblance to that above, I’ve slipped in one of these areas and lost focus on what really matters.

Anxiety. Comparison. Twitter (aka: my arch nemesis). Pinterest. TV. Long lists. Expectations.

________ Insert your energy sucker here. Because really, that’s what they are.

Rather than staying focused during the hours of “getting things done” you waiver, leaving the hours meant for “living,” a time for playing catch up. Meet the carousol!

So today, I encourage you: Get it out- Let it go-Focus- DO- and cut yourself some slack.

Do whatever you need to do, to be the best YOU, you can possibly be.
Because today is precious- it’s time to make it count!


Waiting. something we’ve come to despise and resent in today’s society. 

It holds us back.. it stunts our progress.. it’s inconvenience and it most certainly derails our plans.

We grow up believing life is in the big moments, the next chapter; and the time in between is nothing but an accumulation of waiting- time we’d rather forget about, unworthy of our attention.

We spend so much of those (in between) moments focusing on the future, that we miss the real beauty that arrives in waiting.

For in the still moments, the ones where we’re ready and able to be present, to fully absorb every. tiny. sensation. we discover a joy (perhaps even newness) in mundane, that sets our hearts on fire. And it’s in those moments we hear God speaking, in a soft whisper that echos through our souls.

In the period of “Making my Business Happen” I dedicated myself to waiting. It was five months of the most beautiful self discovery. Never before had I felt so present, content and connected to my God.

Don’t be fooled, they were also the HARDEST months of my life…

But it was because of that stillness and my commitment to embrace “waiting,” that I emerged from such a cocoon, as a beautiful butterfly ready to soar.

Almost a year later, I still reflect on that time in my life regularly. As beautiful as life’s big moments I, I now know its in the little moments that my soul is most content.

I have all I need, right now, in this very moment…quiet and still to hear the echos of my heart.

Sleep to move mountains


Years back, a friend of mine spent  hours {upon hours} trying to show me the importance of sleep….sound and deep. He’d say things like,

“You’ll never loose those last 5 pounds.  “You’ll never be fully present.” “You’ll never reach your full potential.”  “You’ll never be as happy, calm and content and you can be.” 

And as the self-professed “work until you drop,” kind of gal that I was, it irritated me. Who has time to sleep, I’d think, while I gracious humored his care and concern. But, as I got older and my dismissive ways caught up with me, I became over-worked, over-tired and over-stressed. Soon, my anxiety rose to sky rocketing levels, that kept me house bound and paralyzed in fear for close to five months.

Stress Breakdown, they told me. At 21?!  Are you kidding me, I thought. 

But what I learnt in that time was powerful beyond measure…. I learnt the need for moderation and balance between work and pleasure; that sanity was more important and that success was not worth the empty hearted efforts, deprivation left me with. I need to live, to breath and to embrace this life I have been blessed with.

And so began my journey back to faith.

My desire is to remind you of that simple pleasure called sleep. We need it. Embrace it. There’s always tomorrow. And trust me… it comes sooner than you think, always. 

So take the time tonight, to turn off the computer (or the TV) play with your kids, read a book before bed and unwind into a peaceful slumber.

For when you wake, vibrant and refreshed, you will move mountains!

It takes courage, my love.

What does it take?

….to dream big and choose action over fear

… to work smarter and harder than you ever dreamt possible

… to have passion and never apologize for it

… to find balance when you’re riding the carosoul, afraid you’ll never catch up

…. to be authentic to your soul, your values and your beliefs

… to lend a hand, when it’s the last thing your capable of doing

… to reach out, when your prides too big seek it

… to be wife, mom, friend, family, employee, entrepreneur, disciple

… to hold on tighter, have faith and choose gratitude….always! 


All these things take courage, my love, but in Christ, all things are possible.

“When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.”  ~ Nancy Coey

Quality over Quantity

As I pondered my New Year’s resolutions, the list kept building; including the usuals that tend to last a total of 48 hours, along with others that weigh heavy on my heart. From 3, came 5 and from 5 came 10.

As many know, I take resolutions quite seriously. Goals are my middle name and I’m one to stick to things ’till the job gets done… and well! (or mastered; whichever comes first) So, as I sat there staring at my pressing desires, I began to reflect on the heart of the matter. What did all these things have in common? 

Quality over Quantity

Whether its my personal life or my business, I tend to be gung ho! All in or nothing. I devour myself until Im chest deep in whatever it is Im doing. And while this is a wonderful asset, that lends to the over-achieving, persistent self starter that I am, it’s also, all consuming.

Let’s be frank…. “Balance” seems far from normal for this lady. 

So, as 2012 knocks on the door, I open, with favor for quality over quantity.


  •  I will choose to take on select projects that stir me from the inside, rather than every little thing that comes my way.
  •  I will focus on fewer projects at one time, to give each my absolute best and the extra attention each deserves, to fly and be fully appreciated/ savored.
  •  I will choose to supply quality content to my clients, rather than keeping up with the rat race, just to say I post 5 times a week.
  •  I will choose to focus on building select, strong networking relationships, with like minded professionals who share my values and passion. 
  •  I will choose efficiency over busy-ness.
  • I will choose to take breaks throughout the day and turn work off at 5…like the rest of the world. 
  • I will learn tomorrow comes quicker than I think, and leaving things until then, is OK!
  • I will choose slow, steady growth that can survive the times and favors longevity.
  • I will not be ashamed of my BIG DREAMS and will give myself what I need to achieve them 
  • I will not compare myself or my work to others and will instead, focus that attention of being the best ME I can be. 
  • I will not allow others hesitations, negativity or outlook, to affect my own heart, passion and dreams
  • I will choose vulnerability, openness and being raw: and not be ashamed if others don’t approve 


  • I will be intentional about setting date nights with my girlfriends and initiating mid-day coffee  breaks more frequently.
  • I will choose to be away from the computer, when my husband is home and wants to play “house”.
  • I will choose start my day with prayer, reflection and education, before emails, tweets and posts. 
  • I will choose to speak up about my faith, even when its uncomfortable and makes me feel like an outcast.
  • I will be OK with not working out, if I don’t have time for the 3rd day in a row and will NOT feel guilty about it. 
  • I will be OK with splurging on myself every now and again; I’m worth it! and the well won’t run dry because of one nice piece of clothing or one fancy dinner out.
  • I will choose my pumps over my boots ever now and again, to embrace the me I’ve known my whole life and deeply missed this past year.
  • I will set boundaries between people and things that have a negative impact on me; acknowledging their potential for long term hurt/ damage. 
  • I will put my family first: our needs are more important that always trying to keep peace or doing what others think I should or is “best”.
  • I will accept that there is no one model to be a Christian and will continue to carve my path and deepen my relationship with God (no matter how different it may look for others).
  • I will own the fact that I constantly change and evolve as a person. Some may deem that “re-invention,” I see it as “growth!”
  • I will embrace me and love her, flaws and all 

And finally, going back to where my journey all began…

“I will hold myself to a standard of Grace, rather than perfection!”  Emily Ley 

The “Jug” ornament.


Each year, we add an ornament to our tree.

We make a special effort, to set out on an annual festive date and along the way, select our new addition. Typically, we choose something from the actual place of our date and today was nothing less.

This year, my wonderful husband treated me to that which I adore most; afternoon high tea. We ventured to the Little White House, an ultra swoon worthy heritage building, containing both a boutique and a cafe parlor. I was in heaven!

The lunch was delectable (not to mention the signature tea and hand-made sweets), but what was even more memorable was our time together. To be perfectly honest, this Christmas season has been anything but relaxed and fun filled. We’ve been burning the wick at both ends, trying to keep our business strong and our commitments and responsibilities in order. This weekend, after having  both arrived home close to midnight, we flopped down on the couch and stared at the wall.

We felt tired, emotional, disconnected and some-what ba-hum-buggy. (so every unusual for us holiday lovers) And the usual fixes like christmas movies, carols and baking, just weren’t cutting it. When you’re mentally exhausted and the things that normally fill you up aren’t working, you know its time to step back. In these times, we tend to loose light of the beauty that’s around us and the blessings we’ve been given. We both knew what needed to come first for a day: us. 

It took nothing more than a few connected hours and all felt right in our world again. We recounted this {astronomical} past year, dreamed about the future and counted our blessings twice. Almost finishing each other’s sentences, we expressed how full our lives are;  an outpouring of God’s love, grace, compassion. The result is two lives, now one, wonderfully rich in blessings. So, to represent this outpouring, this years ornament is a pitcher or a jug. Ours is full and for that, we’ve so grateful.

It’s safe to say, we fell in love all over again.

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at your from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.” ~ James 1: 2-4


Authentic Leadership

Many us were meant to lead, but not in the traditional sense of the word.

Yes, some of us were meant to stand at a podium, speaking out to thousands of eager ears. But others, in greater number, were meant to lead those around us; our family, friends, workplace and even community. In areas where people trust us enough to listen and act upon our words AND our actions. Whether it’s a a difficult time in someone’s life, a bad habit they wish to break, a way of life or even in day to day motions, we can help guide, inspire and lead people in a positive direction; towards authenticity and a place where their inner self, matches their outer self. {for me, this place is a place where God the Father lives, in our hearts and helps to mold us each and every day, into the people we were meant to be.}

At times, we fail to see this as a wondrous opportunity and without purposeful intent on our part, we can turn this gift into a curse.

“You cannot create an outer life that’s any/more ______, than your inner life’s______.”

You can apply this statement to any character trait or adjective you wish to present to this world; Bigger, Stronger, Successful, Influential, Graceful, or even Godly.

To authentically lead, we must look inward first! If our inner self is not parallel with our outer self, our facade will eventually break, many times, leaving us vulnerable to hypocrisy. We’ve all met these people: you meet them and they seem to have it all together: the loving, connected family, the successful and thriving career, the strong moral values, the lively and active church community, the centered wholeness. (Insert whatever desires of your heart you look for in other people. Don’t kid yourself, we all do it!) 

Time goes by and what appeared to be, is slowly falling to the ground; the connected family eats separately and the equality in partners, is realistically anything but. The thriving career is a financial success but it takes away from family time and comes first, always. The moral values separate them from those who think differently, creating a barrier of un-acceptance. The admirable church community is a group of self motivators, that fail to reach out and touch the lives of those who need it most. And finally, that centered wholeness is nothing but a cover up. Deep down is a host of insecurity and inner brokenness.

For those of you with your mouths wide open, shocked at such boldness, hear me out…. each of us, in one facet or another can be grouped into this scenario, including me. It’s not because we’re terrible people or that we wish to disceve the world. I believe it to be shame and due to this shame, we choose to push it out of sight, hide it under the rug and look forward. We choose to present our desired selves to the world, before we’ve looked inward and worked to overcome our brokeness.  We must first forgive ourselves of our iniquities and our past and present that to a God who will mold our hearts a-new. must  We must simply ask! 

Sure, we’re all a work in progress and never will we have reached a place of “perfection,” but by looking inwards first, we are being truly authentic in our approach. By accepting ourselves with forgiveness and a desire to change/grow, rather than ignorance and denial, we pave the way for a genuine portrayal. We begin to see that brokeness as beautiful and present our true selves to the world. And in doing so, we begin to know compassion and mercy, just as we’ve come to know of ourselves; in turn, we will treat others with such grace. We will come to know acceptance and will encourage others, just as we do ourselves. And inevitably, we become equals, with no division, where there’s a sense of community for all.

Because in reality, we are all a broken people. But when our hearts change first, we change. This is to lead authentically.

How beautiful is that?!

Treasured Advice

As entrepreneurs, business owners or even as a talented individual, we carry within ourselves a wealth of powerful information; skills, abilities, techniques and know-how that have been learnt and put into practice, through years of blood, sweat and tears.

Through mine, I’ve encountered many who hold this information so close to their heart and shield it by a barrier of personal space and mystery; as if someone finding it would be theft and a threat to their success. I’ve never understood this. I’ve always desired to share my knowledge with others, inspire them and help to lift them up in their own endeavors. After all, no man is an island! and two heads are ALWAYS better than one.

“No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own two wings.”

I apply this theory to my own business, daily. I’m always asking questions, seeking advice and looking for inspiration from mentors. I put myself out there and ask the questions many dare never ask. “What were your biggest struggles in business and how did you over come them?” “Here’s my situation. How would you go about resolving it?” “Where do you get your inspiration and how do you continue to grow in your profession/talent/business.”

Insert the question on your heart.

You’d be surprised the answers you’ll receive, free of charge and the network of individuals you’ll build.

Recently, I emailed a few of the individuals that continuously inspire me in new ways; these individuals were a source of aspiration through my company re-brand. Their responses warmed my heart and today, I wish to share their advice with you!

Shoot to inspire others: “It truly is the greatest compliment one can receive.” ~ Amanda K of Amanda K Photography

“The real moment of success is not the moment apparent to the crowd.

You’re never alone: NEVER give up! Because everyone gets discouraged at some point or another. ~ Heather Cook of Carter & Cook Event Co.

“The difference between the impossible and the possible, lies in a person’s determination”

Dream BIG, not BIGGER: always strive to be TRULY unique, even when it’s tough. Never reproduce the already-been-seen and finally, HARD work is bound to make a business soar! ~ Vania Barbieri of Simply Bloom Photography

“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it!”

Have Faith: Keep your thoughts in check and in line with God’s word. Hold onto His promises and pray like your life depends on it. ~ Bianca Juarez Olthoff of In the Name of Love

“Be the kind of woman, who when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the Devil says, Oh no. She’s up!”

So, today, I encourage you to reach out. Not one of us is perfect, nor will we ever have all the answers. But together, we’ll shine a whole lot brighter and build a warm community for budding talent, like ourselves.