Tuesday, August 23, 2011
 I'd like to introduce you to my next inspiring daughter of the most high, But first, I wasn't expecting this post to be taking off like it is. Its title was suppose to be a one time thing reflecting on the meaning of Pure beauty.  now that it is a weekly post I dont want to steal my friends name, so from now on it will be titled "Inside Out", because it is what goes on inside us that determines the true value of our outward acts.

And now the good stuff. 
 I'm sure some of you have already been following her blog She Breaths Deeply and for those of you who haven't been you need to!! I cant remember how I found her blog, but I as I read the news of her becoming pregnant I felt a sorta of friendship based or similarities forming.  I wanted so badly to have a friend going through the same things I was as a soon to be mommy.  Now over a year later we have both had our baby girls and I've been honored to get a glimpse into Mandy's life. reading about her faith as it strengths not only her family but all of us. 


Hello!  My name is Mandy and I run a blog called "She Breathes Deeply."  I am a tea drinking, tattoo wearing, christian yoga practicing, fashion loving, wife to a wonderful man named Kyle, and mama to a little named Lily.  I hope you come by and say hi!  

But, first… I wanted to share some thoughts I have on beauty.  

1.What does Beauty mean to you?
I used to think of beauty as an image to be portrayed or projected.  I spent so many years chasing "beauty", and trying to fit into that stereotype.  Now, I have found my beauty in becoming a mama.  I am finding my beauty in being stretched to the limit… learning to love and raise a little one without selfish ambition… giving and loving, even when I don't have much to give.  I have found my beauty being heavily dependent upon the Lord's grace.  

2.Have you ever struggled with comparing your self to other woman. can you share some of your secrets for over coming that battle.
Oh, yes.  I feel like every one has had to come to grips with the ugly competition and comparisons with other women.  I struggled with, and still do struggle with this from time to time.  But the truth is, there is only one "me."  Regardless if I am "beautiful" by the worlds standard, I LOVE my life and I LOVE the role I have been given in this life. No one else can be me. I have been perfectly handcrafted by the Lord... I learning to love being "me."  

3.when do you feel the most beautiful, and when do you feel the most insecure? 
I feel the most beautiful when I am doing the things I have been created to do… You know… Those times you find yourself doing something that just makes you "come alive" inside... and for a moment of sobering realization you find your beauty living and breathing; doing the things God created you to do.  For me, I feel most alive and beautiful when I spend time face down before my Maker… when I have a heart to heart with my husband… when I am playing with my little one… when I am offering encouragement to a friend… when I am writing, and telling my own story.

I feel most insecure when a memory of the past rears its ugly head.  Memories of allowing others dictate how I felt about myself, or what they thought of me.

4.How do you stay confident in who you are?
Staying confident in who I am is all wrapped in my identity in Christ.  I simply cannot be without Him.  The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful husband, who daily reaffirms his love and attraction to my inward and outward beauty.  Also, becoming a mama has boosted my confidence in myself as well.  It used to be I would be caught dead leaving the house with no make up on.  Now,  I am learning to love the "natural look" simply because I have no time to get dolled up with a (almost) 6 month old!  : )

But mainly, all of my confidence and self worth is wrapped up in Jesus.  He calls me lovely.

5.Any advise to girls struggling with their self image?
Please realize that the people around you who are telling you what they think about your beauty (whether they be people you know, or the media) are incredibly wrong.  I have had so many people tell me so many lies concerning beauty.  They were bitter, angry hearts that had been mistreated by the world's standard of beauty.  Your beauty is incredible, and just waiting to be unleashed.  The world needs to see and experience your beauty… 

Sunday, August 21, 2011
This week I thought I share with you some models who I adore lately and would love to one day work with.

first girl on my list....Raquel Reed. This girl is every where and it not hard to see why. I wish I knew which hair dye she uses!!

number 2... Kiki Kannibal.  She makes me wish I could pull off blond hair

and finally I just recently found this model and she is stunning. Erin Belle


Saturday, August 20, 2011
Hey guys, So are you convinced that I'm a nerd yet?? no, well in that case let me continue. 

Nerdy fact number 5: I love maps!! sit me down next to a atlas, or a globe and i'm like a kid in a candy shop. I dont know what it is about them I could just stare forever. I love knowing exactly where I am. I think it stems from me having a visual memory. I want to and must see it to know where I am and it's relation to everything else.  But I also enjoy looking at map just to know where places are. I like discovering new tiny islands and cities. 

I thought it would be fun to add some cute nerd style to back up my geekery. 

Heart Locket Necklace Map of Los Angeles, Brass Chain - Ready to Ship
I love this locket  maybe it could be a map of hawaii or NJ instead of LA

Map garland of hearts
I love the idea of map garland

I wish wallet this wasn't sold out 


Friday, August 19, 2011
I did a interview over at Kytia lamour's blog.  She does a monthly feature called Art in Transition. 
I had a lot of fun answering her questions, everything from art to motherhood.
Please check it out and let me know what you think and while you're there make sure to check out how talented she is. 


My dear blogger friend Mandy of she breaths deeply  just did a post about being burnt out.  Ohh, man this post really touched my heart. Her daughter lilly is a few months younger then Jovi and I totally remember feeling the way she does now. 

Jovi is a super spirited baby. She has always been very very attentive, persistence, focused, Intense, super attached, very needy and doesn't like to be put down.  I never had experience with other babies so she seemed totally normal to me just constant draining work. She would cry when ever she wasn't being held. people would always remark on how good she was, and I would remark back that it was because she is in my arms. She refused to sleep anywhere but on me or Jesse. I never got a break If I had to pee it meant taking her with me or hearing her cry the whole time I was gone. Even at night I wouldnt get a break because she had to snuggle up right next to me using my arm as a pillow. If i would let her she could cry for hours and not give in to sleep.   It wasn't tell people started criticizing me and my husband's attachment parenting style that I started wondering maybe Jovi's not like other babies. I was so sick of hearing people say "stop holding her so much you're spoiling her, or just let her cry she'll fall asleep eventually."  I started to feel like a failure as a mom. why was she so needy? Why were my friends babies able to occupy them selfs. I would have given anything for Jovi to be able to self sooth for even ten mins. Was it something I was doing or not doing?  Did I need to let her cry more?

can you imagine that every time you got in your car!?!? She would cry like that every single time the entire ride. I felt awful not being able to snatch her out and cuddle her. 

  I did a little research and found out that babies, like adults have many different personalities. We were lucky enough to be blessed with a spirited, or High needs baby. 

here are a few examples of what I read about spirited babies.  

"The cry of a high need baby is not a mere request, it's an urgent demand. These babies put more energy into everything they do. They cry loudly, feed voraciously, laugh with gusto, and protest more forcefully if their needs are not met to their satisfaction. Because they feel so deeply, they react more powerfully if their feelings are disturbed." - Dr Sears 

Mothers of high need babies often say, "I just can't get to him fast enough." These babies convey a sense of urgency in their signals; they do not like waiting, and they do not readily accept alternatives. Woe to the parent who offers baby the rattle when he is expecting a breast. He will let you know quickly and loudly that you've misread his cues. The concept of "delayed gratification" is totally foreign to infants, it must be sensitively and gradually taught when the child is developmentally ready to learn it.- Dr. Sears 

Spirited babies emerge from the womb knowing what they like and don’t like and they never hesitate to let you know it. They are very vocal and even seem aggressive at times. They scream for Mum or Dad when they wake in the morning.- Tracy Hogg

I was so relieved! I wasn't failing as a mother. Knowing that it was all part of her personality gave me freedom. I no longer need to try and change her. I didn't need to feel like it was wrong or spoiling her to hold her all day and sleep with her at night. She wasn't being manipulative or controlling she just needed love and physical touch. 

between the age of 3-5 months was really hard for me. She demanded all of my attention. Once i started changing my outlook on it from feeling like i couldn't do anything but hold her, to, I'm am doing the most important thing right now pouring love into my baby, things got so much better. 

Now Jovi is 7 months old and I'm having the time of my life with her. She is still a High needs baby, but she is sleeping in her own crib and now that she is crawling she doesn't demand as much time in my arms. I cherish every moment that she does knowing that she is growing up so fast and soon the day will come where she cries when I'm holding her. 

What I gained so far that was being a mom is a constant learning experience. True it's hard sometimes to know if you are doing things the right way, but trust in your self. You know your baby better then anyone else does.  Let your house fall apart, order pizza and skip that shower if you have to just know that this first year will be over in the blink of an eye. 


Thursday, August 18, 2011
hello guys, I hope you are enjoying my tattoo posts. I keep forgetting to bring my cannon to work with me so the pictures are always from my Iphone and not the best quality. 

this past week was pretty fun. I got to do so fun small tattoos. Some times it feels like all i'm dong are huge sleeves and back pieces. It's nice to be able to start and finish something in one session. 

I had to turn down a client with some really awesome yesterday just because I didn't have to time to do it. Sometimes I wish I had more time to focus on my art work. I haven't been painting at all this month. I dont know when if ever i'll find the time :( I need, well prefer to be completely alone and silent when I paint. I get totally lost in my thoughts and the time just drifts away. It a great feeling, but time is at a great shortage these days and the thought of being alone is even more rare. I know its just for a season, and i'm totally enjoying mommyhood. I just cant wait for a little more me time. 

well here's this weeks tattoo's 

this first one is on my friend Christian. He Has been bugging my for a few years to tattoo him and we finally got around to it.  He is going through some really rough trails right now and I've got to admit I wish I had his faith. He is such a strong and inspiring man of God. 

Jeremiah 29: 11-13 says, 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Totally one of my favorite verses of all times!! 

finally finished this one. I thought this girl moved away or something. It's a cover up that I started a year ago. I think it was pretty successful there was this big ugly vine going up the length of her back. 

I love doing sailor Jerry pieces. this was a walk in after a cancellation. what a pleasant surprise. 


Monday, August 15, 2011

So, I had the privilege of shooting my dear friend Danielle this week. I just want to start out by saying holy crap this girl has talent!! while we were driving around scouting locations she said she likes giving it her all by trying to let go of any bit of insecurities she has, so that the photographer has better pictures and less to edit. Well, that's no easy task but, she kept true to her word. 

For any girl who has modeled before you know it's not easy to just let go and not care about looking silly. Poor Danny had to feel crazy during this shoot. I know I did. that palm tree was exactly what I wanted, a perfect curve, the sun setting in the background, a beautiful ocean backdrop, only problem... it was like three feet from the busiest beach showers. That meant the whole time we were getting soaked by splashing water and tons of people were watching Danielle strike a pose. 

Meanwhile, I could have totally used an assistant. I was wearing Jovi in a baby bijorn, trying to keep my umbrellas from falling over by holding them with one foot, and trying to light meter all at once. the whole time fighting the clock against the setting sun. 

It was a challenge but I'm so stoked on the results. This was such a fun shoot and Im already planning another one with Danielle in mind. I think she has the most perfect look for a pin up model. She has that adorable ear to ear smile. 


Sunday, August 14, 2011
Sometimes on Sundays we take a walk down the street to the dog park. Rosie Roo, our dog loves it there and Jovi loves all the other dogs. It's the perfect way to end the week. 

Since Rosie is the smallest dog in the world!! we cant bring her to a regular sized dog park or she would be dominated. At this park there are mostly tiny dogs. What they lack in size they make up in numbers. On any given day there can be any where from 20 to 40 dogs. It's a mad house but it's a lot of fun.

umm.. this face is priceless!! 

Isn't our quilt adorable?!? one of our friends from church made it for us. I think it's perfect. 

That's right people aren"t joking around here they get serious and break out the doggy tunnels!! 

I dont know who's dog this was but she was the sweetest. she just laid down right in front of Jovi and let her pet her. too cute!! 

I tried to get more photos of the dogs but after many attempts I gave up. They are way to fast for me.


Friday, August 12, 2011
Hey guys, I'm super inspired right now and wishing that I could be shooting. I think my lovely friend Danielle is going to let me shoot her on monday. Here's to hoping for good weather! I want to do a cute vintage, hawaiian pin up shoot with her. She is perfect and adorable so if they don't turn out good it's all on me. 

here's some of this weeks inspiring photos.


I love this dress and the contrast between it and the browns of the forest.

What can I say, this shot is gorgeous and I'm a sucker for colored hair. 

Eyemotor Productions

Who doesn't love a Marie Antoinette?

All these pictures are getting me siked for monday!! 


Thursday, August 11, 2011
This has been an awesome and busy week for me. Tattooing in hawaii has it's advantages and disadvantages. It's hawaii so it's amazing and we get a lot of work. Tattoos are widely accepted here so you see Police officers, Doctors and  School teachers here with full sleeves. Some disadvantages are that it's hawaii so everyone is super tan or has sun damaged skin which makes it harder to tattoo and makes the colors less vibrant.  I'm like a kid in a candy shop anytime we have a fair skinned tourist from canada in the shop. Another disadvantage is that people are always coming and going out here. Which makes my job really rough when i'm doing big pieces. I'll start the outline on something that is going to take months and then they tell me, "Ohh, i'm leaving in a few days can we finish it by then?" then i have to either rush through the tattoo or not complete it. I cant even tell you how many pieces i have started and never seen again. Its a huge bummer not to be able to finish a piece of art that you've invested into.

 That being said I was lucky enough to tattoo two amazing girls who were willing to put the time in and finish their pieces this week. 

the first one is just the finished picture of an outline i posted a few weeks ago. this girl rachel, was the toughest. She sat for 6 hours for me on tuesday night and then came back in on thursday to finish it up. If she was in any pain at all you never knew it. 

the second one is a sad parting piece done on one of my best clients Angela. I did a back piece on her last year and really grew close with her. She is a flight attendant and gets to travel the world so i vicariously live through her. She is moving so i'm not going to be tattooing her any more :(  she brought me the sweetest goodbye present, an awesome painting from a gallery in LA.  I'll have to post a picture of it later.  

it's clients like these that make my job a pleasure. 


Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Hey Guys, after last weeks post about pure beauty I got such great feed back that I'm hoping to turn this into a weekly guest feature. I'm really stoked that you liked it and were encouraged. self image and confidence is something we all struggle with hopefully we can lift each other up.

That being said I'd like to introduce you all to my first guest. Holly from Lavish Love, As you read her blog one thing  is quickly revealed, this girl is in love with Jesus. I'm always inspired by people who aren't afraid to speak the truth. If that wasn't enough to catch my eye she has 3 little ones and one on the way!! I can only imagine the wealth of knowledge and wisdom that alone gives you. I hope her thoughts encourage you as much as they have me. 

Hi, everyone! I’m Holly from Lavish Love. I am super excited and very flattered to be guest blogging here.  I am a 27 yr old, born again, blissfully married, home schooling mama of 3 (soon to be 4) fantastic little boys. We are suburban homesteaders in sunny California and I simply love gardening, knitting, quilting, reading, playing with my Treasures and being in His presence. So, Amy has asked me some pretty meaty questions and I’ll do my best to give full meaty answers, both Biblical and down to earth. 

1.What does Beauty mean to you? Well, I think my picture of beauty is constantly changing. And I can only imagine that I will always struggle with fully embodying what I know is true beauty and what my flesh tells me beauty is. When I was young, I thought beauty only meant the physical. I wanted to be tall and thin like my mom, who’s 5’9”. But I never grew past 5’4” and ended up being built more like my dad’s stocky irish side of the family. My little brother, of course , grew to be 6’5” and an athletic superstar. In hindsight, now I’m very happy he got all the height. Hahaha. It was in high school that I really came to understand true beauty after I got saved. A state of being. Not something you put on your face. But still I wanted to be the pretty girl. I was and still am a very visual person. Esthetics and image matter to me. 
But!!! What I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that what’s inside is so much more important. We all know this to some degree. It’s not some new fangled idea. But how many of us really grasp it and make a conscious choice to become the woman that God describes as beautiful? I always look to the Proverbs 31 woman. Many women think, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could be like her but it’s so unrealistic.” Well, I’ve spent a lot of time studying her passages, praying and seeking wisdom from older women on this topic and have come to this clarification. This IS attainable. She was human just like us and this is like her “highlights reel.” When we ask Jesus into our hearts, to forgive our sins and become Lord of our lives, he removes our sin from us as far as the east is from the west. (Ps 103:12)  This list of activities that she does may have taken a lifetime to assemble. And two of the verses that always caught my attention are v25, 26 which say, “strength and honor are her clothing (something she puts on; it’s a choice), she shall rejoice in time to come (it’s hard to be the virtuous wife, she may not be having fun all the time but she does it because it’s right) She opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness.” While you ladies may think I’ve gone off topic, I don’t think so. God highly values this kind of  high standards set for oneself, a meek and humble spirit, “a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Prov 31:30) That is what is beautiful. 

2.Have you ever struggled with comparing your self to other women? Can you share some of your secrets for over coming that battle. Absolutely! Like I said before, I can’t help but think, “Gosh, if only I were taller this leftover pregnancy fat would be better dispersed.” Or, “ Good grief, I wish I had her _____” (fill in the blank however you like, it’s all true.) I secretly want to be the prettiest girl in the room. Disgusting to admit, but sadly true. How I get my head back on straight is by getting back into the Word. I pray for God to remove that desire from my heart AND the images of whoever I was looking at from my mind. I’ve noticed that when I start comparing myself to others or feeling puffed up because I like how I look that particular day, it’s typically on a day when I didn’t do my devotional that morning, missed church that weekend OR I spent time looking at some glossy magazine in the checkout line. It’s a combination of avoidance and  spiritual redirection. “Oh be careful little eyes what you see…..” hahahaha
3.When do you feel the most beautiful, and when do you feel the most insecure? 
I feel beautiful when I’m in God’s will. I know that’s pretty vague so here are some examples. When I am not having a good day, typically because I’m throwing myself a pity party, and I don’t have ‘the law of kindness on my tongue” to my kids or husband; I also feel ugly, inside and out. A pity party can mean anything from “uggghhh, I’m so sick of  being the only one who cleans up around here” (not the truth btw) to “so, after home schooling and cleaning and errands all day, I guess I’ll just stay home from MNO and slave away since you have to work late!” (poor man walked right into it when he got home.) On the flipside, when I’ve spent my morning in prayer and then enjoyed my children throughout our myriad of activities and  created a warm and welcoming home for my husband when he gets home from work (all choices, btw), I feel awesome. My husband sees and responds to that…and it just keeps getting better.
4.How do you stay confident in who you are? You know, that’s a hard one to pin down. I am who I am. I have more flaws than I care to admit, physical and character wise. And as a born again Christian tattooed girl, I’ve found that I have to work twice as hard and be twice as nice/ cheerful/ friendly/ whatever to be given a fair shake. It is what it is. But while I’m doing all that… I’ve become that cheerful, friendly, hard worker. I can stand firm in my knowledge of how great my God is. And He made me just how I am because this is exactly how he wanted me to be. Who am I to tell Him He was wrong? 

5.Any advise to girls struggling with their self image? Sadly, you may always struggle with your fleshly view of yourself. Open your Bible and read this love story about a God who created all and loves all and wants all to recognize their worth in His eyes and simply respond to that love and THEN make it your personal love story. You’ll realize who you are and Whose you are. And all the other stuff will seem so silly. Even though I still struggle with my own self image, I can recognize the signs of sin in my life for what they are and turn my eyes back on Jesus. Then I know who I am and everything else falls into place.


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amy jean
happily married, two amazing children Jovi and Nixon. living my dream life in Hawaii
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