Hello Hope! Thank you for agreeing to this interview. First off, can you tell us about you and your blog? How did you get started and what are your passions?
I started my blog in twenty seventeen as a fun side hobby because I saw my friends doing it. I wrote mainly about DIY’s and recipes and had a few followers. After letting it sit for a couple years out of disinterest, I went back with inspiration for making it a professional, high quality, real blog. After remodelling and learning how to better use the WordPress platform, I began sharing my passions more frequently and enjoying myself more. I am still working on this and growing but am happy to report that my blog is flourishing today! I enjoy sharing spiritual encouragement, inspiration and practical tips for healthy and abundant living. And, occasionally, a product review or list of my favourite things.
At home wellness and holistic remedies are close to my heart also. I have been doing them my whole life. It has truly changed the way I live for the better. I share these products, tips and recipes on my blog so that you can join me in a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. I am an island girl at heart- salty breezes, sandy feet, wavy hair, turquoise ocean-you get the idea! I love cool starry nights, mangoes, the windows open on a breezy day, skincare, essential oils and cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Coffee dates with friends and boho decor, a bowl full of raw veggies and hammocking in evergreen trees.
I live in the countryside and enjoy seeing our pretty chickens laying eggs every morning and the refreshing, hard work of gardening and harvesting. I used to struggle with fitness, my relationship with food and my view of my body. Through laying down an unhealthy mindset and toxic habits, I’ve gained freedom from obsessiveness in that area. If you are struggling or have struggled with something similar, you’re not alone and I pray that you are encouraged here to live freely and wholly.
What is your philosophy on life and why?
I believe that we are all created by a good Father and a perfect Creator. I trust that my purpose is to live my life in His love and out of love for Him. I believe that this world is broken by sin and sorrow and that every pursuit but that of Jesus is empty and will never satisfy. I know that Jesus is the only Way, Truth and Life. No one can come to the Father, God, except through Jesus. I firmly believe that both to live and to die means true and abundant life. This is because I know Jesus.
I am fully against Legalism and dry religion. I believe that having an intimate relationship with my Creator is where his heart and plan for us lies. This sets us free to truly and joyfully live. So I both live and die for God because of the crazy love with which He loves me. I am confident that my purpose in life is to be known and loved by Him. Then I can pour out this abundance of love onto others. Knowing Jesus is the most beautiful and freeing thing I’ve ever known!
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me. You’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” -Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
Where do you live and what do you enjoy most about your hometown? Do you prefer the countryside over bustling urban areas?
I live in North Idaho where the summers are crazy beautiful. The winter months are white and long. I love that my hometown is full of nature, natural living and lots of opportunities for boutique shopping and coffee dates! I most definitely prefer the countryside and the peace and serenity of it over bustling cities! I love being surrounded by picturesque mountain scenery and lush greenery.
What does your creative process look like?
I am a naturally creative person and love using this in ways other than typical arts and crafts. Think days spent exploring the woods and picking wildflower bouquets or putting together bohemian styled events and such. I also love singing and do it all day long!
You’re a proud young living enthusiast and brand partner! What does this role entail and how has it influenced your wellness journey? Do you have any go to essential oils and what are their properties?
Oh my, natural living is such a significant part of my life. I would not be the same without it! I believe that nature is filled with remedies, food and resources that are perfectly created to complement and support the health of our bodies. I enjoy using essential oils daily because of their incredible properties and aid in my overall health and wellness. Essential oils are the natural compounds released by certain plants when they are harmed or in danger, such as when you rub a lavender sprig.
My favourite essential oils include Tea Tree oil, orange and lemon citrus oils and Joy, a blend of oils from young life. Tea tree oil has amazing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties whilst citrus oils are fresh smelling and help detox your system. The Young Living Joy blend has been my go-to lately because of its emotional support qualities and perfume-like fragrance!
This past March you hosted a three day workshop, Soaring Together, along with five other business owners and content creators! What was taught there? Tell us about your role in this event and how you engage with your entrepreneurial self outside of this? Do you have any business plans underway?
Soaring Together was such a fun experience and opportunity to be afforded. I would love to share more about it! Soaring Together included an array of presentations and workshops surrounding establishing your brand, creating good quality content and building and growing a business on Etsy. We shared tips on starting and building a newsletter and improving your photography to appear professional.
The presentation I shared was on growing your brand through a blog and the benefits of having your own site. I discussed the opportunities presented through it and how to create a brand, theme and blog that will take off. You can check it out here!
I am incredibly passionate about entrepreneurial pursuits despite not always following through with them. So, in my day to day life, I take inspiration from healthy living and creative sources to encourage my entrepreneurial side in blogging and social media spaces. I’m currently exploring the idea of investing more into my blog and Instagram as a business rather than a mere hobby. In other words, becoming more serious about it. I’ve also considered hand lettering as a possible business venture in the future- we shall wait and see what comes of it!
I remember chatting about your big sister Nicolette and her overseas missions in Australia and other places helping children and spreading scripture! What did her time overseas involve? How has this influenced your family and contributed to your own spiritual identity and growth? Do you have any essential resources that keep you steadfast in your faith?
I love talking about my sister Nicci’s missions as I get a close account of them with inside stories and details! She is currently overseas in the Middle East, sharing the love and restorative power of Jesus while tending to physical needs in refugee camps. I have heard the most amazing stories of miracles and healing, both physically and spiritually. The Father heart of God is being poured out upon broken places and hearts. She has done everything from playing with children in the streets of the Philippines to engaging in the culture and welfare of the Aborigines in Australia. She is now involved in supporting underground churches and refugee camps in the Middle East.
With Nicci being gone, it definitely feels like a part of our family is missing. However, we are so joyful that she is being a light to the nations and living out her purpose in life! Seeing her be so on fire for Jesus, so utterly transformed by his love and loving others, has really inspired and encouraged me to live for the Lord and obey whatever He calls me to do. Hearing and being a part of these accounts of encounters with God where she is working has strengthened my faith. I know that God is still moving mightily and pursuing the hearts of people everywhere! You can also check out Nicci’s blog here!
My main resource for strengthening my relationship with God is His Word! Nothing better than that. It never gets old! Truly a love story that captivates my heart and mind every time. Books are another. There are so many incredible books that enrich reading the Bible and knowing God.
A few of my favourites include: Practicing His Presence, Beautiful Outlaw and A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm Twenty Three. These books have changed the way I live day to day and further opened my eyes to the reality of God’s tangible presence in every moment. I have gotten to know the personality of Jesus and gained a deeper insight into the heart of God. Lastly, podcasts! I enjoy listening to them in the mornings while I get ready. These include Jonathan David & Melissa Helser, Lifestyle Christianity, Shannon Casteel and Have You Heard by Emma Mae Jenkins.
You’re an island girl at heart! Where have you travelled to and what are your best memories from your time away? Share some stand out stories!
I have travelled around almost the entire United States with my family. We continue to travel every year! Some of the most notable and famous places we’ve been to include Yellow Stone National Park which has gorgeous mountain scenery and amazing displays of creation. Other places include Banff, Canada, places such as Perth in Australia, all around Florida and, my personal favourite spot, the islands of Maui. There are too many memorable and iconic stories from everywhere we’ve been to limit myself to just a few. Think crab chases on the beach late at night, walking along the ocean’s shore and seeing the water full of glowing algae, the reflection of galaxies in the night sky, snorkelling and being surrounded by sea life, sunrises and sunsets in every part of the world. So beautiful and mesmerising. And, of course, fun adventures with leeches and the rapids!
You mention previously struggling with fitness, your relationship with food and the way you view your body. What shifted your perspective and how did you balance your diet? What does abundance mean to you now? Tell us about five of your go to recipes, how you meal plan and the benefits and importance of detoxing!
After going through some hormonal changes and gaining weight, I became extremely self-conscious and obsessed with my weight, body and eating habits. The number on the scale determined how I felt for the day or week. I’d try to eat only a thousand calories a day and weight life without a break. Every time I walked into my room or the bathroom I’d be hyperaware of how my body looked in the mirror. Little did I know that these were in themselves unhealthy habits. I’d started binge eating and feel horribly guilty, using working out or skipping what would have been my next meal as a punishment. One day I realised this toxic cycle couldn’t go on and I was hurting my mental and physical health more than I could fully comprehend.
I began praying and looking up how to stop binge eating. From there onwards I stumbled across an extremely helpful blog post and began following what was detailed there. I stopped counting calories and labelling foods as good or bad. I no longer limited myself to eating certain foods. This helped me walk in true freedom and health with food. I started healing the relationship I had with my body. Starting to take care of myself properly was a process that seems a bit blurry now when I look back. I’m just so grateful I took that first step. I do have days where I criticise my body still or am scared to eat certain foods but this has improved significantly.
What helped me change my perception of what health was and should like included taking care of my body, not hating and punishing it. Focusing on what it can do, not idolising it or become obsessed. I gave myself grace and freedom to prioritise being healthy and strong, not perfect. I gave all the toxic thoughts, beliefs and patterns to Jesus, letting him fully renew my heart and mind. This is where healing began.
My diet is as nourishing and healthy as it can be with what I have. The items in my pantry, fridge and garden I utilise to be as life-giving for my body as possible. That’s my entire meal plan. I endeavour to pack every meal and snack with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, healthy fatty acids and all the goodness real, raw food can offer. In no way, shape or form am I perfect at this and some days I eat all the gluten, dairy and sugar. I don’t see one green thing all day! However, the more you feed your body with nourishing foods, the more you grow to crave them and enjoy this process.
Here are my five go-to recipes: A two-egg omelette with avocado, microgreens and tomatoes for breakfast, Fish taco bowls overflowing with red cabbage, cilantro, shredded carrot, roasted corn and chipotle lime sauce. Homemade pizza where I use a simple mills crust mix or a recipe from Pinterest. I top my pizza with homemade barbeque and tomato sauce, raw cheese, virgin olive oil, fresh basil and all kinds of yummy veggies. Burrito bowls with roasted onion, bell pepper, corn, cilantro, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, grilled chicken and lime rice is great too. I love Mexican food with lots of colourful veggies! Honestly, any new and vibrant looking recipe I find on Pinterest catches my eye!
I’m known to love a good detox and encourage everyone to do one frequently! In fact, I’m about to do one this upcoming week because I’ve had too much gluten and dairy. My body sure is letting me know, haha. Having occasional detoxes where you cleanse your body through the consumption of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and juice is so beneficial. This supports your immune system and gets out the gunk that’s been sitting in your gut, fermenting. You’ll feel rejuvenated and revitalised with increased energy. If you’re interested, I have the perfect three-day detox blog post with all the recipes + guidance for a great cleanse!
What are your plans this summer and what are your goals for the second half of the year?
My plan every summer is to be outdoors and active as much as I can! My family and I love to go kayaking, have lake days, garden and more outside. I always see how tan I can get every summer, haha. I desire to continue growing in my relationship with God and my love for Him, as well as other opportunities in which I can expand my knowledge and skillset. I simply look forward to enjoying nature, the sunshine and living every day in the fullness of joy in Jesus presence!