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  • Hello, friend! Thank you for being here.

    OH my goodness, are we excited you stopped by!
    <------That's my oldest little bit over there. She's excitable, like her mama. The apple doesn't fall far. Except she's blonde and has that rockin' dimple on her chin, she got from the Mister. My dimples are in other places and on good days I have only one chin, but yeah. We're a lot a like. We love to have fun, be together with the fam, take pictures, CREATE (we're crafty like that), be dorks, have dance parties, Matilda Jane Clothing, laugh, laugh at ourselves, cook, eat, LOVE, pray, SHARE, and make new friends. And a lot of the time we're doing all of those at the same time! I am a Jane of all trades, master of none. I am always looking for sunshine and easily amused. I am usually unpredictable, mostly energetic to a fault, quirky and sometimes a bit eclectic, and darn right fun to be around... so I've been told.

    Old friends, new friends, friends we have yet to meet-we like them! So come hang out here for some gettin' real, gettin' personal, maybe a little gettin' real personal. We'll play games, talk some shop, kick up our feet, and have a generally good time. You'll definitely get to know more about me in my REM-deprived ramblings. {I can't be held responsible for how those ramblings look on any given day} And I hope I get to know a LOT more about you by YOU chatting and maybe getting to know your heart and soul by making pictures together. Wouldn't that be a blast? Then you can see what happens when we take what makes you OH-so-unique, add me bustin' a move with my camera, "Beast", and have fun capturing what makes YOU SHINE! This is NOT yo' mama's photography. We could leave a mark on this world- yours, mine, ours... together. Happy day.
    This is me. I can't be anything different than who I am.
    Making pictures... making friends.
    LET IT SHINE! ;)

Me & My Girls :: A Mammogram Story

The fall season is not just about autumnal colors anymore.  Nope.

 Everywhere you go there is a splash of pink in between Halloween and Christmas displays and on a plethora of products and windows.

And for good reason.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.  At this time there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.)  Risk factors are determined by age group. From your 30’s to turning 40 your risk factor goes from 1 in 228 to 1 in 69.  That’s a big jump!  If your current age is 40, the probability of developing invasive breast cancer in the next 10 years is 1.45%, or 1 in 69.  This link on the Breast Cancer.org site explains your risks of developing breast cancer.  It doesn’t seem quite as scary when you see it broken down this way, but it is a good visual for the importance of yearly mammograms.

After having my 8th friend diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago (not counting the 4 others with other forms of cancer), this statistic doesn’t seem so accurate for me. To personally know so many young vibrant women who have become victims to this horrendous disease is mind boggling.  People joke about there being something in the water, but it is really no joke. October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month is even more at the forefront of my mind.

Those pink ribbon’s are beacons of hope, true beauty, strength, courage, celebration, and remembrance!

My recently diagnosed friend, Shanda, asked all of her friends as a gift to her, to get their mammograms. She felt strongly about it since the cancer in her breast had formed aggressively from her last yearly Mammo. Her message is don’t procrastinate! Any thought of “putting it off” or “a few more months won’t hurt” and she could have been in dire straits.  I had my annual check-up with my doctor mid summer before we heard of Shanda’s diagnosis. At that visit my doctor asked me if I wanted to make an appointment for my mammogram. I chuckled a little as the reality set in that I was coming of age. Oh snap. I was still about 6 months out from my 40th birthday and didn’t feel the need to rush into that milestone and into what I have heard to be an unpleasant experience. But after hearing of Shanda’s request, I felt compelled to make an appointment for my first mammogram and making it an annual tradition for the month of October. Those pink ribbons symbolize many things, but research shows that cause driven marketing does act as a reminder to women to be more proactive with their breast health, especially by getting annual mammograms.  And so does the personal experience we have with loved ones who have battled and are battling.

I had the honor of going to chemo with Shanda last week and was even more determined to do what I can to spread awareness and support for my #pinkwarriors!  There were so many sick bodies in there, but the room permeated more with strong and courageous souls! We even got to hear the bell ring! Have you heard of that tradition?  When someone finishes their treatment they get to ring a big bell loud and long for all to hear!  Gave me chills!  So, in honor of my sweet “breasties” and “bosom friends” Shanda, Brittany, Laura, Donna, Kitty, Lady Di, Maria, Jessica, Mama Jo, Jaime, Keri, and my sweet Anne, I wanted to share my experience with my very first Mammogram. I’m breaking it down for all of those who have heard through the grape, or uh, MELON vine (see what I did there?) that mammograms are not fun.

They are not that bad and are absolutely worth the time and “pressure” Do it!

5 Easy Steps To A Good Mammogram Experience:

Step 1: Make an appointment

BlogMammo1

All I needed to get started was the number of our imaging lab from my doctor and I could call in and make an appointment on my own. I called on a Tuesday and got in on Thursday.

Easy peasy.  Done. Take a deep breath.

Step 2: Go to your appointment!

I walked in and checked in with the front desk. Since I was already in their system, I didn’t have to fill anything out to make it more nerve racking. Filling out forms is not my favorite thing! During my 5-minute wait, I overheard an older lady telling her friend, “I HATE mammograms!” And boy her “hate” had a bite to it. I chuckled and said, “just what I wanted to hear before my first mammo.” She laughed. Apparently she was tired of them because she has very “fibrous” breast tissue and often has to redo the imaging. I don’t blame her for her being totally “over it” at her age, but it amused me.

Breathe and smile.

Step 3: Come on down!

BlogMammo3

The technician brought me from the waiting area to the imaging lounge through a door clearly marked with a “no men allowed” sign. Ha! Sorry Mister. Through the door was what looked like a dressing room area in a clothing store with 6 rooms for changing. I was instructed to undress completely from the waist up and put on a gown that opens in the front. There was a hook for my clothes, a mirror and a container with special mammo wipes for cleansing my underarm areas and around the breasts to remove any lotions, oils, or powders. I was told when I made my appt to not where any of these things, so I was prepared and showered right before my appt. But I used one anyway, just for insurance because nerves make me sweat. Okay, and because I wanted the full experience!

Step 4: Exam Room #2 please! “My girls” and me get our picture taken!

BlogMammo4

Breathe.  I was breathing easy at this point because my tech had done a great job at making me feel comfortable. The exam room is about the size of a small walk-in closet. Just enough room for a sink and counter area, 2 large machines, a chair, and a small computer desk., but big enough to feel comfortable. My cute pink-sneakered technician was a lot of fun to talk to.  As a matter of fact I was so into asking her questions and chatting that I barely had time to get nervous about the process. We were done before I even had time to get too freaked out!
The machine moves up and down for different heights. She took 2 frontal images of each breast and 2 images from the side of each breast. For the frontal images I stood straight ahead facing the machine and she did all of the work gently scooping a girl at a time onto a thick metal plate and compressing it between that and a clear acrylic like plate that comes down. Kind of like this:MammoGrahams

(Source//original source )

Thank you to my friend Collette, who’s mama is a breast cancer survivor, for showing me these!

Keeping a sense of humor is great medicine for the soul!

For the side images I turned more sideways and the machine turned some as well. I lifted my arm to hold onto that silver handle and the device squished my girls again.  This gets a better pic of the areas near the armpit and lymph nodes.

At one point I told her that all I’d ever heard of Mammos was negative and that it hurts and is uncomfortable, but I wasn’t having that experience at all. She explained that experiences can differ from boob to boob depending on your size, weight, shape, whether you have implants, etc… Our differences are what make this world beautiful!!!  For example, women with implants may need more scans taken since it’s harder to see the breast tissue which could be a little more painful.  But don’t stress!  It doesn’t last very long!  My Tech said, “we love doughy breasts” so I was proud of my girls for doing their job (breastfeeding – boom). 😉 My pizza dough balls and Me didn’t have a problem. So if you’ve been known to complain about your flank steaks, tube socks, water balloons, dough balls, fruit roll ups, arm pit hiders, be happy that a mammo should be a breeze. For those who haven’t had children, have implants, are fibrous or lumpy-bumpy, or have young firm breasts, you will have to let us know of your experience pain wise. Mine was zero. I’m a size D-. The minus is for the empty sacks of som’m som’m they really are.

On my way out I noticed the “pasties” on the wall and asked if I got a sticker for being so good. I mean, who doesn’t still love a sticker for a job well done at the doc’s office?!  The tech said they were for those with irregular nipples, large moles, or other irregularities to communicate with the doc that will read the images. It tells them different things to be aware of. So if you have any of that you will get to wear pretty stickers for your pictures! Woohoo! Mammo perk! We had a good laugh as she recalled the story of an old lady that came in and told the tech how she forgot to take her “pasties” off when she got home and later as they were dressing for bed her hubs saw them. The tech said well what did he say and she said, “Oh well, he liked them…” Ahem.

Mammo perk #2!!!

BloogMammo5

STEP 5: Wait for your results

Unless they need more images, you will receive a call in a day or two from your doctor stating your results and a letter in about a week. I got a call the very next day from my doctor’s office telling me my girls looked perfect! What a relief! It is very common for first time “baseline” images to get called back for a recheck, so don’t panic! If you are a worrier or tend to be impatient about these things, I would make your appointment for the beginning of the week so your images are being processed on business days and not waiting through a weekend.

So here is the most interesting thing I learned that day, only 16-20% of breast cancer patients have a family history of breast cancer. I was floored! I try to stay pretty informed about a lot of things, but this was a misconception for me. That number is so low and leaves a very large percentage of us out there free game for that wicked cancer to take hold of our girls! Without any warning or history!  Wow. I told my tech about my friend who was 35 with no family history and the epitome of health… marathon runner. She said, “oh, yes I know her.” I told her this was my friend in Georgia not here, which means it was just another young woman facing the cryptic disease with no warning and no rhyme or reason at all. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. We are all fair game for the enemy. Even men. This year, an estimated 2,360 men in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and an estimated 430 men will die of breast cancer.

I asked if sugar can cause cancer and she said glucose can feed cancer like it does all cells in our body, but does not “cause” it.  She said it’s still not fully known and that estrogen is the true feeder of breast cancer. I found these statements on some medical sites, “There is some evidence that consuming large amounts of sugar is associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, including esophageal cancer. It can also lead to weight gain and increase the risk of obesity and diabetes, which may increase the risk of cancer… It’s what sugar does to your waistline that can lead to cancer.”  I think the jury might still be out.

So here is my challenge that I’m shouting out to all you ladies in the house:

GO GET YOUR MAMMOGRAM!!!

You know your situation and if you are behind, overdue, have family history, etc… remember, Shanda went exactly a year apart and it had grown that fast.

And to all the ladies in my graduating class (HOLLA Class of ’93)… we are all turning the big 4-0 within the next year, so get on it! Don’t delay. Do it for fellow classmate Jessica!

We all think it won’t happen to us. I’m not so sure anymore. So I can be proactive with my breast health and overall body health.

Breast health=

1. Monthly  Breast self-exams (BSE) If you notice any concerns or changes in your breasts, you should contact your doctor immediately.

2. Clinical Breast exam (CBE) about every 3 years for women in their 20’s and 30’s and every year for women 40 and over,

3. Yearly mammograms starting at the age of 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.

4.  Loving them just the way they are!  What you see on TV doesn’t matter.  Your mental health, confidence, and love for your self and then others, does!!!

Let’s just sum it up this way: I would much rather go get a mammogram than go to the dentist any day.  Fo-realz!

Now breathe.  And smile.  You have a lot of control over what happens to you.

You can do it!  GET THOSE GIRLS SQUISHED FOR YOUR HEALTH!

HAPPY MAMMOGRAMMING!

XOOX,

Dana

P.S.

My friend Courtney from the eclectic lifestyle blog Fry Sauce & Grits started a movement called LOVE YOUR BOOBS, LOVE YOURSELF. Courtney is a bra fitter, bra educator, blogger, and is passionate about women issues. She created a video where she interviewed a group of women and asked them questions about their relationship with their breasts, how they’ve experienced breast shame, how they feel the media depicts breasts, and how we as women can come to love and accept and love our breasts.   I wanted to participate because it is just another layer of the #braveandbeautiful movement we started.

Hair, breasts, eyes, teeth, thighs… it’s all what makes you beautifully you!

Love Your Boobs, Love Your Breasts Movement Fry Sauce and Grits

“I find that most women have a hate relationship with their breasts and that makes me really sad. They’re either small, large, lopsided, saggy, or too wide, and it made me realize that we need to stop this breast and body shaming because our bodies are beautiful and powerful,” Courtney said. “I hope to inspire women with this Love Your Boobs, Love Yourself video that to completely love ourselves as women, we need to love and accept our boobs. There’s a direct relationship between our self image of and the relationship we have with our breasts. Breasts don’t define us but they are definitely a part of us. I want to bring awareness that this dysfunctional relationship we as women have with our breasts and with our bodies are directly stemmed from what the media portrays to be what is perfect and the ideal of beauty. I want to push the message that we aren’t defined by our breast size and how we as women are defined by something greater.”

Love Your Boobs, Love Yourself Quote FrySauceandGrits.com

Me along with a group of other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and yes breast sizes have decided to come together and to love ourselves and our breasts! You can join in this movement too by sharing a picture of yourself and type what you love about your breasts and what defines you as a woman! You don’t need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #LoveYourBoobsLoveYourself on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in.

So go ahead and watch this fantastic video, where a few smart women will truly inspire you to stop breast shaming and start loving your breasts and yourself more!

Below are other brave and beautiful women who are sharing their stories of breast shame, breast love, what they’ve learned from their breasts, what they mean to them, and how we as women we can learn to love our breasts and ourselves more! So get clicking around, its a blog hop! I hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of women loving themselves, the empowering effect sharing each of our voices will inspire others in some way.

1. Fry Sauce & Grits 2.Allred Design 3. Ashlee Marie 4. Lucky Blogs 5. A Ruffled Life 6. Feel Great in 8 7. Tara Made It 8.Dreaming About Someday 9. MOMentity 10. Dana Ohlsen Photography 11. Life in My Heels 12. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl  13. Utah Mom Connection 14. Lionesses at the Gate 15. Laura’s Crafty Life

Let it shine,

Dana

October 23, 2014 - 8:28 pm

admin - YOU ROCK!!! You just made my day. Totally understand the Jr. High buddy thing… although a little embarrassment never hurt a kid, right? Makes ’em tougher! HA! 😉 I kid. I have all girls and lots of YW so it’s different for sure. And p.s. you must be one cool mom to have your daughter’s buddies, espesh BOYS, following you. Way to go MAMA!!! xo

October 23, 2014 - 7:41 pm

Risa - Loved it. Making the appointment tomorrow… and the s’mores? I die! I thought about joining the movement as well, but lots of my daughter’s Jr. High buddies that are boys insta follow me. It might horrify her to have me talking about it in front of all her friends, lol.

October 23, 2014 - 6:50 am

Love Your Boobs, Love Yourself - Feel Great in 8 Blog - […] 5. A Ruffled Life 6. Feel Great in 8 7. Tara Made It 8. Dreaming About Someday 9. MOMentity 10. Dana Ohlsen Photography 11. Life in My Heels 12. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 13. Utah Mom Connection 14. Lionesses at the […]

October 22, 2014 - 10:42 pm

Love Your Boobs Love Yourself | Ashlee Marie - […] A Ruffled Life 6. Feel Great in 8 7. Tara Made It 8. Dreaming About Someday 9. MOMentity 10. Dana Ohlsen Photography 11. Life in My Heels 12. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 13. Utah Mom Connection 14. Lionesses at the […]

October 22, 2014 - 5:39 pm

admin - HAHA! That is hilarious! I imagine it’s worse for some, but it is a super quick process! And since my balloons are so deflated, it was no biggie! I’m sure I could stretch them out far enough for a tire, but that sounds painful! Ouch! The mammogrammajamma, not so much. Thanks for the comment! Come back anytime! 😉

October 22, 2014 - 4:34 pm

Lucky Blogs - Thanks for the step-by-step mammogram appointment pics and explanations. It doesn’t seem as scary as others say. My mom told me it’s like laying on the garage floor and having the car drive over your boobs a couple times. Thanks, mom.

October 22, 2014 - 3:33 pm

Love Your Boobs, Love Yourself - - […] Marie A Ruffled Life Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl Tara Made It Dreaming About Someday MOMentity Dana Ohlsen Photography Utah Mom Connection Lionesses at the Gate Laura’s Crafty Life Feel Great in 8 Life in My […]

October 22, 2014 - 3:24 pm

Love Your Boobs, Love Yourself Movement - […] Life 6. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 7. Tara Made It 8. Dreaming About Someday 9. MOMentity 10. Dana Ohlsen Photography 11. Utah Mom Connection  12. Lionesses at the Gate 13. Laura’s Crafty Life 14. Feel […]

Brave and BEAUTIFUL and Words

[This is a continuation of the “Brave and Beautiful Beauty Movement” that is going on with me and 120 other bloggers!

Click on the link above to find out what it’s all about and how you can participate in this freeing and inspirational event launched by Megan of Brassy Apple and Cobi of Peace from 6 Pieces. #iambraveandbeautiful #colbieTRY]

photo(3)Words.

Words are powerful catalysts indeed.  Especially words about our appearance or beauty.  Whether they come from our culture, our friends or inside of our own families, words stay with us and can shape who we are.  As a human, words stay with us whether positive or negative and we can let these words affect us for good or bad.  For some strange reason, we have been conditioned to sometimes hang on to the more negative ones.  So instead of living in our truth and true beauty, we aimlessly dwell somewhere in between our full potential and mediocrity.

I have been told a lot of things about external features and we all know that, not so deep down, we love the validation and attention for the good compliments.  Admit it… it makes our worth meter go up.  But unfortunately it’s a temporary and artificial boost that wears off when our own voices and worldly reality sets in.  On the flip side of the coin, we also tend to hold on even more to the not-so-good.

Words.
But the focus on outer appearance didn’t start with me.

It started with my dad.

My dad was kind of an oxymoron when it came to life, bless his resting soul. (Emphasis on oxy please. Lol.) He prided himself on outer appearances and leaving stellar first impressions, while inside he was painstakingly battling with some monstrous demons.  (It’s easy for us to forget that men have self-esteem issues and insecurities too, but that’s a story for another day.)  We were to be perfectly coiffed at all times. Perfectly ironed, washed, teeth brushed, shoes polished, hair fixed, dressed in the latest fashions, make-up, you name it. We did it. At the same time we were to be polite, we were shushed, never to interrupt, talented, have good posture, be religious, involved, and polished in all we did.  Perfect. Perfect perfect perfect! (Said in my best Jan Brady voice). We were to get straight A’s, be class presidents, homecoming queens, star athletes, instrumentalist, performers, volunteers, charmers, liked,… All in the name of the perfect perfectionist and his perfect perfectionism… All in the name of “show”… and the affirming words and glances that come with it.  All in the name of keeping up with the Jones’.  If we failed, we worried more about failing our dad more than failing ourselves or for that matter, God.  Not to mention the fact that we had a twisted view of what the definition of “failure” really was.

Dad was constantly sunbathing, plucking, shaving, flexing, brushing, sunbathing, picking, weight lifting, smoothing, shining, fixing, flexing, sunbathing, examining, exercising, looking in the mirror, sunbathing, charming, impressing, blue-steeling, perfecting, and oh, did I mention sunbathing?  (We lived in Cali). He even was the “stage mom” for my older sister who was involved in the pageant world. Yes. This is my story and probably some of yours… I was the little sister of a beauty queen. Living in the shadows anyone? Sounds like a good book. Ha!

He was constantly pulling my shoulders back to get me to stand up straight, all the while having no idea how insecure I was about my chest, or lack thereof, and part of the reason for my slouchy body language. He was in charge of our yearly shopping trips for new school clothes.  I guarantee we spent way more money than we had.  Looking good took priority over smart financial choices.  He made me change my outfit if it had the tiniest of stains or wasn’t quite up to his fashion standards. He was constantly correcting my grammar, or straightening, tucking, and folding in all the “right” places. He often licked his thumb to wipe a smudge off of my face or plaster down a misplaced hair on my head. And don’t even get me started with the plethora of orthodontia I had to endure all in the name of a perfect smile.

On one VERY memorable occasion, Dad lifted my leg and propped it onto a brick planter in the courtyard of our church building and said to my mom, “Novene, it’s time.”
“Time for what,” I thought. The panic on his face made my stomach turn.

Then I sat and listened as, in front of siblings and whoever was doing there after church mingling, he demanded I must start shaving my legs because my long dark hair was visibly sticking out of my white opaque tights. I was in 4th grade people!!! Barely 10 years old and the thought of shaving had yet to even cross my mind!!! You know that thing that someone points out to you that you never would have thought of on your own? The power of suggestion? WORDS???  Yeah, that.  Like the boy in 7th grade who told me I had a double chin. Or the first day of  my Junior year in high school and the first thing my science partner says to me is, “What’d you do, get a boob job over the summer?” Yes. He. Said. That… to my face.  I. Died. And yes! My  16 year old body decided to spontaneously “blossom” amongst summer strawberries and beach days and he made it clear to me and all in ear shot, that it was noticeable. Yeah. Those things. Words. They stay with you. I don’t loathe my hairy legs as much anymore, but I am pretty happy those “bloomers” have deflated since I’ve lost 40 pounds so I don’t need a reduction anymore.  These are the kinds of things we remember.  But really, what was I so worried about anyway?

My Dad and beauty queen sister had a lot on their plates, so most of my self-esteem and figuring out who I was was left up to me.  I remember one day when an adult family friend pulled me aside after church and said to me,

“I always thought you were the prettier sister anyway.”

No, it wasn’t creepy, and yes it was exactly what I needed to hear at the time!  And the weird thing was that I knew exactly what was hidden between the lines of his words.  He was telling me I was pretty because I always smiled, I was always happy and bubbly, and I was always the “charmer” (I had to get some attention somehow!)  I knew he sensed the struggle I must have had with such a beautiful older sister who got all of the attention while I tugged on skirt hems and pant legs or talked extra, extra loud to be noticed.  He was telling me I was more than good enough and that my worth was shining from the inside out.

Although there was much fixation on external beauty and maybe my lack thereof when standing next to my “Miss Teen San Diego” sister, I still figured out quickly how to use my personality (read:overcompensation) to my advantage and believe it or not am eternally grateful for it today!   I would choose making others happy, being social, smiling, laughing, and serving others over any public accolades.  I would choose the knowledge of knowing my heart and who I am over any perfect locks, pageant trophies or size 2 jeans.  But man, it’s been dang hard work peeling off all of the layers of “words”, evil eyes, sideways glances and feelings of inadequacy. Still not sure if my over compensation for thinking I have to care too much and not caring at all has met in the middle yet.  But I march on with determination and an open heart.

So here we sit today as we all try to heal and work through the words and images that tell us we are not pretty enough, not popular enough, not fashionable enough, not feminine enough, or just plain not living up to what societal “norms” have been set for us… The labels society and others put on us that we allow to hold us back.   We need to be brave enough to choose joy that sheds light on the heady voices of darkness.  I love this quote that I heard over the weekend from one of my all time favorite speakers:

“Do you suppose it matters to our Heavenly Father whether your makeup, clothes, hair, and nails are perfect? Do you think your value to Him changes based on how many followers you have on Instagram or Pinterest? Do you think He wants you to worry or get depressed if someone ‘unfriends’ or ‘unfollows’ you on Facebook or Twitter? Do you think outward attractiveness, dress size, or popularity make the slightest difference to the one who created the universe? He loves you, not just for who you are this very day, but for the person of glory and light you have the potential and desire to become.” –Dieter F. Uchtdorf

It has all been worth it.

All of the words, the insecurities, and time in the shadows.

All of these things have helped me learn how the kind of words we speak can shape another person’s self-worth for life To leave them better or leave them bitter.  Everything I have experienced or am experiencing now is preparing me for what will happen in my journey ahead.  My journey that I know will consist of more learning, more growth, more sharing and more seeking out the true beauty in my life!  My journey that hopes to find the “person of glory and light” that I have the potential of becoming!

SPEAK.  KIND.  WORDS

Hi.
My name is Dana and I am a healing victim of perfectionist parenting, a recovering perfectionist

and advocate of bright sides!

So, what is your one thing? What words have you held onto all of these years that have caused hurt and insecurity? Leave your confessions in the comments and meet back here for another burning ceremony.

It’s time to let it go.

important P.S. Now I have to make it very clear… My Dad had lots of great qualities too!  I loved him dearly.  He did not change my heart of those good things I gleaned that were already planted deeply there. My heart is anchored in Christ. In fact, my Dad’s flaws and mistakes made me better. One man’s flaws are not my religion. I love the gospel I was raised in with all of it’s fallible humans and their mistakes and hypocrisy. They did not build my gospel, the Lord did. It is in Him and in my personal relationship with Him that I trust. Always have, always will. I am who I am because of His amazing sacrifice for me. Daily, I stand all amazed. Somehow I came out of my crazy younger life unscathed and my testimony Of Jesus Christ in tact. Stronger to boot. But that’s a confessional for another day. Thanks Dad. Xo

Let it shine,

Dana

BRAVE and BEAUTIFUL beauty movement

I am Brave and Beautiful – a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe.

Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY.

My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie’s song says,

“Take your make up off. Let your hair down… Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you… “

Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.

Me along with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don’t need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag – #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat’s attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!

Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset

MY STORY Part 1 of 2
In my early 20’s, I was once told that I was hiding behind my long hair and that it was dragging me down, literally and figuratively. Whatchu talkin’ about Willis??? Yeah. I thought that was kind of crazy talk too! I mean, long luscious locks are what everyone wants, right? There surely has been a lot of emphasis on that kind of hair for years by models and everyday people picking up what they’re throwing down. It’s what makes you girly and put together, right?

All who knew me in my teens know that I had long hair, sometimes to my booty, but always long, long, long! The memory of any haircuts completely escapes me. Okay. Except for the one I gave myself at the age of 5 in my Raggedy Ann nightgown while my mother was downstairs giving piano lessons. That I remember. I felt powerful taking my life, er, hair into my own hands (enter maniacal laugh here).

My 20ish year old self thought about what I had been told a lot. From the time I woke up in the morning to the time my head hit the pillow at night. So I did it. I trusted the person who gave me that advice and I did it. I cut my beloved long hair! Inches and inches and inches of it. With every clump that fell to the salon floor, I found liberation I had never felt before! I walked out of there with a bounce in my step and my glasses a little rosier. I felt lighter, literally and figuratively. I felt breezy. It’s as if years of proverbial deadweight had been hacked off in one sitting. Because it had!!! I realized that the actual length of my hair I was hiding behind was indeed dragging me down. I still had a long way to go, but it was the start of many self-worth ah-has in my life! Sound strange? Stay with me. The first a-ha being that I had been basing much of my identity on an external part of myself… Something I had been told by others was beautiful and one of my best features. I had been basing my beauty and security off of a superficial part of me. It was a security blanket indeed. I had my femininity and worth all perfectly French-knotted up in my hair.

Since that day I have peeled off more layers and learned that my hair does not make me feminine… My hair does NOT define me! My femininity and worth and your femininity and worth are NOT associated with long locks. In fact for me, I felt even more feminine after going super short in March in honor of a dear friend fighting breast cancer.

Britt Bald

(photo credit:  Amie Fagg of Vickery Photography)

(My plan from the day I found out was to go bald for her, but she insisted I not do it, so I honored her wishes)

I know you can say it’s easy for me to say since I’ve never had it stripped from me without a choice. And you’re right. I will never know what it feels like to have it taken away. The shock to one’s self esteem and womanhood must be terrifying and lonely. But I know with every strand of hair on my head that it is truth-it doesn’t define truly who you are! It is a fact that our culture has stripped it away from us instead.

I think partly I felt this way because it was as if my divine nature and power as a woman was revealed. I felt stronger and empowered thinking of my beautiful bald friend each and every time I looked in the mirror. I know you know a little about what I’m talking about because every single one of us has seen an image of our beautiful breast cancer warriors and have thought them more beautiful then ever. Why is that? Because with that taken away we saw only the incredible soul and warrior that radiated from within, more powerful than ever!!! All of the other fluff was gone! It allows their vulnerability and true spirit shine!!! It’s the most beautiful human thing I’ve ever witnessed.

Our culture tells us long hair equals femininity and beauty. Every commercial and magazine cover screams at us that our bodies are not good enough. It tells us that the body, hair and natural beauty we were born with is wrong. The beauty you were born with is NOT wrong.

I repeat: THE BEAUTY YOU WERE BORN WITH IS NOT WRONG!!!

The one and only beautiful YOU is exactly who you were created to be… Your hairstyle or anything else on your exterior is NOT what makes you beautiful! Hair is just an expression of the inner beauty you already have; that you were born with. That’s because what you were born with is not a first impression glance because of what’s visible on the outside. In fact, with less movement in my hair I feel like my true movement is more visible to others in the way I want to be seen…joyful, kind, passionate, loving, and full of life!

I want purpose and goodness to be my beauty!

But I know, without a doubt, I don’t have to try so hard because I am so much more than my physical features!!! I have purpose and potential beyond my exterior!

I don’t have to try so hard because I have more important things to focus on.

I don’t have to try so hard because my daughters are watching me; 3 daughters who I want to

love themselves just the way they are!

I don’t have to try so hard because my expression of my true self doesn’t need to rely on

anything but my heart and soul.

I don’t have to try so hard because the beautiful being I am, has been here from the start.

I don’t have to try so hard because I feel more powerful when I stand in my truth!

I don’t have to try so hard because I am joy, peace, love, kindness, passion, full of life, and BEAUTIFUL!

I don’t have to try so hard because the price of pain and anguish was already paid for me.

Hi.
My name is Dana.

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I am a healing victim of perfectionist parenting, static societal brainwashing, and beauty lies.

A recovering perfectionist and passionate advocate of not trying too hard, focusing on the good and not the perceived flaws, bright sides and true beauty shining from the inside out!

Colbie Callait, Megan, and Cobi believe in this movement and so do I!!!

I feel so blessed to be among some inspiring and uplifting women!  We are here in all of our natural beauty and glory to inspire you to not try so hard and like you just the way you are! Do you like you? You don’t have to try so hard!!! I like you! I like you even more when you are raw, vulnerable, genuine and deeply YOU! Let us come together as women and inspire one another to be real and be true to the beauty behind the hair and make-up.

Let’s all love each other from the inside out!

I.  LIKE.  YOU.

So, What are you trying so hard at and what are your true motives behind it?
Pay attention to what your hair does for you… is it holding you back or setting you free? Sometimes we spend so much time on our hair and worrying if it looks good all day, we waste precious moments we could have had focusing on more important things. Be honest with yourself.

Leave your confessions in the comments and meet back here for a burning ceremony. It’s time to let it go.

You can find also find me on Pinterest here, Instagram here, and Twitter here.

share your natrual beauty - brassyapple.com

Don’t stop here. Get clicking around – its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

>>>>>>>Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<<

women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup

1. BrassyApple 2. Peace from 6 Pieces 3. Is this Really My Life 4. Among the Young 5. Love Me Dani Marie 6. Sweet Charli 7. Kim Orlandini 8. XO, Ashton Tilton 9. She Calls Me Mama Leisha 10. Raising Memories – Canada 11. A Little Tipsy 12. Amy Cornwell 13. A girl and a glue gun 14. My Craftily Ever After 15. Maybe I Will 16. WhipperBerry 17. Paging SuperMom 18. All Things Thrifty 19. Ashlee Marie 20. The Project Girl

women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful

21. One Little Momma 22. Entirely Eventful Day 23. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 24. Tips from a Typical Mom 25. Utah Sweet Savings 26. Flats to Flip Flops 27. One Krieger Chick 28. What Meegan Makes 29. Simply Kierste 30. Live to be Inspired 31. HoneyBear Lane 32. Pretty Providence 33. Ma Nouvelle Mode – in FRANCE 34. MomEntity 35. Serger Pepper – in ITALY 36. Kiki and Company 37. Girl Loves Glam 38. Thrive

women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com

39. The Potters Place 40. Crafting in the Rain 41. Cooking With Ruthie 42. Delineate Your Dwelling 43. The Pennington Point 44. Bakerette 45. The Happy Scraps 46. Shannon Baird Photography 47. Tried and Tasty 48. Lionesses at the Gate 49. Fry Sauce and Grits 50. Lolly Jane 51. That’s What Che Said 52. Sugar Bee Crafts 53. Your Home Based Mom 54. Happiness is Homemade 55. The Crafted Sparrow 56. R&R Workshop 57. I Should Be Mopping the Floor 58. Sassy Steals

Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful

59. Let’s Eat Grandpa 60. Being Spiffy 61. Sumo’s Sweet Stuff 62. Ginger Snap Crafts 63. Bless This Mess 64. Apronista 65. Dreaming About Someday 66. Frenchie 67. Tastefully Frugal 68. Four Marrs and One Venus 69. Your Sister Circle 70. Over the Big Moon 71. See Vanessa Craft 72. Infarrantly Creative 73. Family StoryTelling

Natural beauty untouched photos

74. Albion Gould 75. Life as Mrs. Larson 76. Tried and True 77. Play.Party.Pin. 78. Bite of Delight 79. Ink Happi 80. ObSEUSSed 81. U Create 82. My Mommy Style 83. Find it Make it Love it 84. The Contractor Chronicles 85. Novae Clothing 86. Mommy Makes Things 87. At Home with Sweet T 88. We Like to Learn As We Go 89. House for Five 90. Organize and Decorate Everything 91. Sassy Southern Gurl 92. The Creative Mom 93. Keep Moving Forward with Me

raw natural beauty - join the movement

94. The Benson Street 95. Mom 4 Real 96. Sowdering About 97. illistyle 98. The Crafty Blog Stalker 99. A Fiery Red Life 100. Cupcakes & Crowbars 101. One Sweet Appetite 102. My DayLights 103. Restless Risa

beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup - Brassyapple.com

104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography

#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful

Ready in join in?  Snap, hashtag, and share!  Tag @BrassyApple and @Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!

Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

Let it shine,

Dana

December 8, 2014 - 9:21 pm

I am Brave and Beautiful - Among the Young - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

October 6, 2014 - 11:32 am

meg/brassyapple - you have such a wonderful ways with words and photography and so many gifts and talents. thank you for standing alongside all these brave and beautiful women! xo

October 2, 2014 - 7:57 pm

admin - Thank you Cobi! and thank YOU for putting a piece of your heart out their for the world to see and be inspired! You and Megan have truly touched my soul. xoxo

October 2, 2014 - 4:00 pm

Cobi - This is beautiful! Your words are inspirational and moving. Thank you for sharing this with me and the world. xoxo

October 2, 2014 - 12:19 am

I am Brave - Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

October 1, 2014 - 3:56 pm

admin - Remind me to pay ya later!!! lol 😉 I feel so blessed to have been a part of it too! Especially when I get to rub elbows with you beautiful ladies! I can NOT wait to meet ya’ll someday. I fee like we are bosom friends. Much love x 5!!! #sharegoodness #spreadthelove

October 1, 2014 - 3:53 pm

admin - Thank you, Risa! It worked! Love your beautiful heart, friend! 😉

October 1, 2014 - 3:50 pm

Brave and BEAUTIFUL and Words » Photo Journal - […] BRAVE and BEAUTIFUL beauty movement […]

October 1, 2014 - 8:19 am

Real Natural Beauty- I am Brave & Beautiful - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 30, 2014 - 2:50 pm

Real Beauty Reveal - Pretty Providence - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 30, 2014 - 8:34 am

Risa - Hi Dana,

We will see if it works this time. You’re fabulous!

September 30, 2014 - 8:29 am

I am Brave and Beautiful! – At Home with Sweet T - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 30, 2014 - 7:26 am

Your Sister Circle - STUNNING!! What a great post!! You seriously are a natural beauty and HIGH FIVE for posting this! We have SO loved being a part of this TRY campaign with so many amazing women!! FUN!! #womenneedwomen #hugstimesfive

September 30, 2014 - 6:47 am

Brave and Beautiful - The Crafty Blog Stalker - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 30, 2014 - 6:44 am

Natural Beauty Reveal - The Benson Street - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkin Kids Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 11:28 pm

The Moment I Shared Me! #IAmBraveAndBeautiful #colbietry - Utah Sweet Savings - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 9:15 pm

You don't have to try... - My Craftily Ever After - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 8:23 pm

Bravery and Beauty – join the movement - […] 104. Sypsie Designs  105. Vintage Mother  106. Like Mother Like Daughter  107. 30 Handmade Days  108. Queen B and Me  109. Apples by Ashley  110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA  111. Just My Little Mess  112. Bombshell Bling  113. Sarah Tyau  114. Taradara Make it  115. Capturing Joy  116. Ivory Lime Photography  117. Jenkins Kid Farm    118.  Free Time Frolics  119. Bella Storia  120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 6:39 pm

What My Mother Taught Me About True Beauty - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 5:46 pm

The Real Us | Over The Big Moon - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen Bee and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 4:26 pm

Be Brave and Be Beautiful - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 3:16 pm

I am Brave and Beautiful - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 2:30 pm

We are beautiful - Like Mother, Like Daughter - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 1:56 pm

I AM Brave and Beautiful - Cooking With Ruthie - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 1:36 pm

Raw, Natural Beauty | Paging Supermom - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen Bee and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 1:34 pm

Because we ARE brave and beautiful - is this REALLY my life? | is this REALLY my life? - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 1:09 pm

I Am Brave & Beautiful - Flats to Flip Flips - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen Bee and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kids Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 1:03 pm

Natural Beauty - Brave and Beautiful | Ashlee Marie - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 1:01 pm

I am Brave and Beautiful | Keep Moving Forward With Me - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 12:45 pm

Beauty and Bravery - Sugar Bee Crafts - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 12:43 pm

Beauty and Bravery - Cupcakes&Crowbars - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen Bee and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kids Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

September 29, 2014 - 12:40 pm

BRAVE & BEAUTIFUL. - △ LOVE ME, DANI MARIE △ - […] 104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography […]

HONK if you’re HAPPY – RAOK

[Giveaway closed]

Hello, old Friends and new Friends!!!

So glad to be meeting so many new #womenofstrength this weekend!  Been so much fun and so #upliftingandinspiring!  Keep those RHONNA DESIGN GIVEAWAY tags coming!  You have until tomorrow night to spread love & joy for some women in your life by telling us what makes their heart shine under the giveaway image.

For those that are new, today is Service Sunday on my IG where I give an idea for an act of kindness or service to do during your week or to tuck away for the future. It has been a while since I’ve posted a #ServiceSunday idea, so I decided to post our little fun road-trip way of spreading sunshine and kindness!  A little sneak peek for my girl, chelsea, who I’ve been working on an awesome RAOK (Roadtrip Acts of Kindness] roadtrip kit for. #surprise #RAOK #roadtripactsofkindness.

travel

The picture says it all!  I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun this is!  Seriously!  It hasn’t gotten old and has been a super fun way to get miles of smiles between us and fellow road trippers!

You HAVE to try it on your summer road trips.

I guarantee the kids and you will be entertained for miles.

1.  Buy window writer from craft store

2.  Write these phrases on your car windows.

“HONK IF YOU’RE HAPPY”

“WAVE IF YOU”RE BRAVE”
“MILES OF SMILES”

3.  Honk, smile and/or wave back when road trippers follow your words! A must!!!

Have a fabulous Sunday night!!! Xo

Let it shine,

Dana

A Woman’s Heart at Play

A woman’s heart at play…

never too old for swinging for the sky.

doing the spider with my daighter.

a mother’s bliss.

squishy face love.

Gummy smile.

never grow up.

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Trying to catch a photo of my daughter and me doing the spider on a swing.

We couldn’t stop laughing!

I inherited that gummy smile from my mom!

And worked hard for all of those wrinkles.

Let it shine,

Dana

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