Hello! Free Printable Watercolor

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Download here: Hello! Printable

Who can say no to free art? “Hello”, my first of many free original printables, is available right now to download! Just click on “Hello! Printable” above, then click the download button at the bottom center of your screen, and feel free to print from your downloads folder any time! Prints are best on basic white card stock. You can frame this art for your wall, hang it on your fridge, or mail to a friend as your own warm greeting… Snail mail isn’t dead yet! Or shouldn’t be! 😉

I love using watercolors for my art, even lettering, which can be tricky! I’m still learning a ton every time I design something new. I thought that this particular piece of artwork would be fitting for my first post on Confident Foundation, as a warm greeting from me to you!! I’m so happy to start a new relationship with you all. Also, the bright yellow is so warm, it makes me so excited for spring! Unfortunately our Wyoming ‘spring’ currently includes multiple inches of heavy, wet snow. (*insert scowly face here*) So if you are in the same shivery boat as me, you might need this visual pick-me-up like I did. 😉

Please let me know if you’re enjoying my art! I plan on sharing new free downloads every couple of weeks, so please come back for more.

Love,

Brianne

My Babywearing Journey & Baby Sling Carrier WrapyTM

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Legalese Nonsense: I have been provided this wrap by Wrapy for reviewing for free, but have the freedom to state my own opinion and thoughts, and all my words and babywearing adventures and snuggles therein are thusly my own.

I can not even emphasize enough how much I love babywearing. Feeling the closeness and snugness of my little one, and their warm breath gently against my chest… smelling that baby smell… oh my…it just sends me and my oxytocin hormones into overdrive!

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Ollie and I snuggling when he was a baby!

I can still remember the first time I encountered baby-wearing as a missionary kid in Africa. I saw these fearless, bold warrior women who had survived brutal civil wars in west Africa, and yet had the tenderness and affection to hold their little ones close. These moms were living in the “poorest of the poor” conditions, and yet they knew more about baby-wearing than I have ever known with all my Youtube videos and online tutorials at my instantaneous disposal. They aren’t necessarily aware, like we are in our first-world society, of the benefits of baby-wearing scientifically speaking, but they know it is necessary if they are going to provide for their families. It isn’t a trend there or a fashion statement, it is survival. I always admired that, and long to live fearlessly and boldly in the face of life’s adversities like they have. To be as bold as a lion, but as gentle and tender as a lamb.

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My “bold as a lion/tender as a lamb” pose! Am I convincing? hee hee

Fast-forward years later, I am in my early 20’s and longing for a child after we had lost our Lily Neveah in March 2011. I had long since thrown out of my mind any real remembrance of baby-wearing from those brave West African women, but one Sunday, I saw a gorgeous young mama at our church baby-wearing her little newborn, and it was in an adorable stretchy wrap (although back then I didn’t know what a stretchy wrap was even). I thought it looked SO comfy and cute and stylish even.  I relished the thought and prayer and hope of one day holding my very own baby close in my arms and having the chance to babywear him or her.

Shortly after this encounter with the lovely young mom at my church, to our delight, we became pregnant! I quickly started researching everything I could about baby-wearing and had bought my own stretchy wrap, ring sling, and even a soft structured carrier, and then I awaited in eager expectation for my rainbow child to arrive so I could put the carriers to use.

Oliver - not even a day old yet! <3
Oliver – not even a day old yet! <3

When my son finally came into my eager arms and vacated my womb, I pretty much immediately put him into his first baby carrier the second we left the hospital, which was a linen ring sling. I also wore him in our stretchy wrap we owned, and loved the bond and connection I felt with my son in those moments I would babywear. We tried various carriers, and had many learning curves, but we both grew together not only in closeness, but together in our babywearing abilities as well. Oliver, with his continued trust in me as I attempted various different wraps and carriers with him, and me with learning to baby-wear properly. I still remember my biggest struggle was pulling the wraps strand by strand to make sure they were tight enough. BOY – can it be a workout, but so worth it once it is all done and secure!

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So supportive! Even my back is “happy as a clam” in this carrier!

 

 

With our son we ended up, as he got older, favoring our soft structured carrier and my woven wraps for their durability and support – especially with my back because I suffer from scoliosis, bone spurs, and arthritis in my spine (that is right… I have a horrible back. *cry * Chiropractor once told me that he has 70-year-old ladies with better backs then me!), but there is something so special about those newborn stages with our stretchy wrap and the coziness it brought that I always hold very dear to my heart. I can’t even count the days I spent with Oliver as a newborn in his stretchy wrap as I did my college coursework whiles my husband was at work. Oliver has always been my active child! Even from the womb, he was constantly moving, so it was no surprise that we always had to be moving (which my postpartum body was grateful for) to keep him happy, so our carriers became serious life savers!

Wrapy - Can buy on Amazon!!!
Wrapy – Can buy on Amazon!!!

All that to say, I just delivered our daughter 1 month ago, and so, my dear kindred reader, thou canst imagine my inner thrill when I was offered to receive a stretchy wrap from the company called Wrapy to try their product out and write a review. I just received the wrap a couple days ago, and have FINALLY been able to try it out! I was immediately enthralled with the softness and loved the dark blue color of the wrap. When I put it against my skin, the smoothness and coolness of the wrap just heightened my anticipation to put my darling daughter into it! I loved how easy the instructions were to follow, and before I knew it, my daughter and I were smooth sailings.

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Such cute packaging!

 

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She fell RIGHT asleep once in it! She was super fussy, but this wrap was a miracle worker! <3

Now, because it is a stretchy wrap, I did have to work at making sure she was at kissing level and practice my T.I.C.K.S. (YES, beloveds, I am a stickler for SAFE baby-wearing so please research to ensure you wrap safely before starting), as well as make sure the wrap was tight enough. I also always go ahead and watch several wrapping videos on youtube to make sure I have everything correct and even learn helpful tricks and tips!

Side note: One of my favorite YouTube channels for baby-wearing is Wrapping Rachel, but there are numerous other tutorials on there that are fantastic!

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Ollie enjoying the sunshine!

Within a couple minutes of experimenting, tightening, and following the instructions, everything was super snug and wonderful with my Wrapy, and I was able to go outside and enjoy being with my toddler and husband in this beautiful spring sunshine! I also was able to just sit and cuddle on the couch later and let her slumber peacefully against my chest. I even was able to get some housework done, and work out a little bit, which my body desperately needs (so please give me grace for these photos! I am not in the shape I need to be yet, but I finally have the “all clear” to resume all activities postpartum – aka excercise as much as I want – YAY!) .

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Hubby loving his snuggles with Avonlea in the Wrapy!

She didn’t awaken or stir throughout all of these activites – even during our walk at a local park, which is a testament to how soft and comfy the wrap was against her delicate newborn skin! I was so grateful to have the perfect accessory, in a stunning color, to help me go about my day with success. Even my husband, who never enjoys wearing wraps of any kind, thoroughly enjoyed wearing Avonlea with our Wrapy, and kept on talking about how he couldn’t wait to wear her again!

Baby-wearing has seriously changed my life, and Wrapy is a fantastic brand, to hold your newborn close and get things done throughout the day! It is made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex, which makes sense as to why it is so soft and breathable. It is super comparable to other stretchy wrap brands, and even more affordable then most, which I am all about!

Back view!
Back view!

SAFETY Note: I don’t find this stretchy wrap, or any stretchy wrap brand for that matter, supportive enough to do any back-wearing safely or carry a toddler in, but for the younger baby stage, they are fantastic! I also don’t recommend doing the cradle hold that is listed in the instruction manual (a lot of stretchy carriers offer this carry suggestion, but it isn’t safe due to potential breathing restriction issues.) I am one to always er on the side of caution with these type of matters.

Hubby kept on exclaiming how surprised he was at how much he loved this wrap! He has NEVER liked a wrap before! (PS: Aren't baby-wearing dads the best?!)
Hubby kept on exclaiming how surprised he was at how much he loved this wrap! He has NEVER liked a wrap before! (PS: Aren’t baby-wearing dads the best?!)

In glorious conclusion, I love how with baby-wearing I am able to accomplish all my daily goals at once and even have the freedom to chase around my wild toddle-bear as well! Since I am in school, working from home, trying to be a mom/wife, and look for a job in the medical field… to not be as productive as possible in a day is not really an option for me. I also go stir-crazy having to just sit around, so baby-wearing has given me access to new freedoms and saved me many times! I will forever be grateful to baby-wearing for allowing me to be a present and nurturing mother, as well as a productive and fearless woman in this crazy, fast-paced world!

Have you tried babywearing? What was your experience? What carriers do you enjoy? Tell me about it all, my kindred spirits!

Affectionately yours,

Rebekah M. Clark

PRODUCT NOTE: Here is the direct link to look at purchasing your very own Wrapy baby-carrier! So worth it in my opinion!

King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe & How to Perfectly Portion for a Family of Four

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #YesYouCan #CollectiveBias

King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe

Although I’ve been baking since I was an itty-bitty thing, I didn’t start cooking dinners until I was engaged. Once my then boy friend popped the question (for real) my Mom had me start cooking for our family so I’d know what I was doing once I got married. Having a sit-down meal together for dinner was a huge part of growing up for me, and I couldn’t wait to do it with my very own family.

After we’d been married a few months I realized one very important thing, namely that my husband did not have the same set of taste buds that my father did. In fact, he had just about the opposite. While I was very proud of the fact I hadn’t burned a dinner, I could tell he was less than enthusiastic about many of the recipes I had made, simply because they weren’t his kind of food. This left me scrambling frantically and I sent an SOS email to his mom asking for some of his favorite recipes from growing up.

Continue reading “King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe & How to Perfectly Portion for a Family of Four”

Fairy Garden Jewelry Holder Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ItsMyMasterpiece #CollectiveBias

Fairy Garden Jewelry Holder Tutorial

Spring fever to clean, de-clutter, organize and recycle has kicked in full force and it’s all over social media and in conversations with friends. The bug has hit me, too, and I’ve been organizing, up-cycling, and prepping for the big move, which includes thinking ahead and planning for items that I know we’ll want and need since we’re about to expand into a much larger space! One thing that I’ve been looking for is new ways to display Amber and my jewelry collections. We have a beautiful display of bracelets, earrings, and necklaces between the two of us, but I’ve found that if it’s out of sight it’s out of mind and we rarely wear it, which is just sad! I was recently inspired by this awesome idea to make a jewelry stand using the Diet Coke “It’s Mine” Glass Bottles, and I decided to re-make the up-cycle using my own fun spin-offs and incorporating the super fun idea of using fairy lights that I saw in several different posts recently.

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How To Organize All Your Little One’s Pool Stuff

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SwimAdventureContest #CB #CollectiveBias

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We hit a high of 83 today and the kids are counting down (what they hope are) hours until our pool is warm enough to splash into. They’ve already tried sitting on the edges and kicking their feet around till their teeth start chattering and I scold them out of it, there’s just something about water that little ones love!

As you might remember we were blessed to get to move into “the swimming pool house” along with my in-laws over a year ago. Last summer the kids spent hours upon hours in it every day that the weather wasn’t flashing and grumbling, and as a result, they both learned how to swim! It was an amazing time and we all can’t wait to get back to the fun, soon!

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Easter Basket Ideas ~ Best Books and DVDs


This post is originally from 3/10/2013 — we still love and read these books and watch these movies all the time, though, so I wanted to share them in case you’re looking for a few awesome fillers for this year’s basket!

Ready or not Easter is *right* around the corner! This year it’s March 27–so it’s an early one! In addition to the classic candy and toys my two favorite items to include in my kids Easter Baskets are Books and Movies. Here are my favorites this year for putting your kiddos Easter Basket!

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About Me: Brianne

Hey! My name is Brianne and I’m the artist behind the design of the Confident Foundation blog. I have been a fan of this blog for awhile, and I’m ecstatic to have been invited by my generous sister-in-law, Nicole, to regularly contribute! From here on out, you’ll be seeing my original art, some of my not-so-original thoughts, and maybe even the occasional product review.

Lace Hair Systems UK

I’m a 22-year-old wife and momma with too many interests to count! The most notable include art (especially hand-lettering), Psychology (still working on getting that degree), books, music, film, exploring city and country, eating out as much as possible, feminism, body positivity, and personality typing. I absolutely adore my little family, which consists of my awesome co-adventurer husband, Ryan, and my one-year-old wolf-child, Brielle. Ryan and I both love documenting our lives (in the home and in the wild!) on Instagram as @caughtbyalion and @bylifeorbydeath. My feed is mostly my baby (because… adorable, hilarious, smart, strong and fat!) and his feed is mostly amazing nature shots of our beloved Wyoming, his home and my home-away-from-home. We are busy waiting for God’s leading about our future plans at the moment, but we’re so happy to be located in such a beautiful place for the time being.

https://www.hairbro.co.uk

I love learning how all of my interests play into my relationship with Jesus, and with the people He brings into my life. I’m so happy that those people now include the readers of Confident Foundation, and I can’t wait to get to know you all!

About Me: Rebekah

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Why hello there my lovely world-wide web of kindred spirits!

 My name is Rebekah M. Clark! I am 24 years old and married to my high-school sweetheart and best friend going on 10 years now and married for 7.5 of that.  Wow – just typing that makes me feel old! We have experienced many highs and lows, blessings and sorrows, (which I may share more about later in our journey together here on this blog) but through it all, I can firmly say that “God is GOOD!” I can never say it enough!

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My husband and I share two beautiful children (professional photos courtesy of Morgan Gauntt Photography) here earth-side and one darling little soul heaven- side (part of the “sorrow” part of our journey that turned into a rainbow). Our two little earth-side blessings are a 20 month year old busy little boy named Oliver and our beautiful little baby girl, Avonlea, who is 3 weeks old now. Raising them and becoming a mother has been one of the most profoundly humbling and beautiful experiences of my existence! 

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I have had quite the background resume so far in my 23 years. I am adopted (open-adoption), grew up in California for 10 years before my parents became missionaries with an amazing Christian organization called Mercy Ships. The next year was spent in training with my family to become a missionary and then the two years following that I lived onboard one of their ships called the Anastasis and we traveled all around Africa and Europe, and had quite the eye-opening experiences that forever changed me (again with the sorrows and joys stories). As a missionary kid, I have also spent time in Central America and have traveled to Canada and all around the USA. After ship-life, my family moved to Texas to the Mercy Ships home base here in Garden Valley, TX.

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After my husband I were married we lived a couple of years in the lovely Colorado, but ultimately ended up back here in East Texas. The community aspect and family aspect was just too much for us to be able to resist. Even though we are introverts (INFP here and husband is an INTP), we still needed that family support. My husband now works on his parents vineyard and winery, and he LOVES it! It is such a beautiful thing to see your husband find his calling and purpose! We have already seen so many spiritual and Biblical applications and metaphors/allegories that correspond with our daily life from his work on the vineyard.

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I am now a stay-at-home mom, part-time  student pursuing to become a Nurse Practitioner/Midwife, writer, reader, lover of all that is beauty, positivity, and love, classical piano player, baby-wearing, essential oil using, crunchy mama bear who is learning to find balance in every area of life and experiencing all the growth-producing highs and lows, failures and successes of that journey.   

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I am so excited to be joining this community of women to bring love, positivity, laughter, tears, and fellowship in any way we can as we all grow together on this road of life.

My goal for my time spent here, you ask? Well, it is the same one that I have for every aspect of my life, and simply put: Is to live a life of love and thanksgiving for my ultimate Lover, Jesus, and for my life-song to always sing of that intimacy with Him above all.  I fail daily, but God’s grace lifts me up again every time. Thank you for allowing me to share my heart and be apart of your lives! I look forward to this bond we shall all share with kindred hearts!Many blessings and love to you all! To God be all the glory!

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Affectionately, 

Rebekah M. Clark

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Easy Easter Centerpieces

Although I can hardly believe it Easter is just right around the corner! Our family always enjoys Easter–as you’ve seen through our family Easter Sunday updates from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 (can you believe this blog is almost 6 years old?! Wow!)

I’ve also shared my best Easter Basket Ideas with you, and the Best Easter Books & DVDs. 

So today I decided it would be great to share a few

Easy Easter Centerpiece ideas!

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Finding My Inner Fierce

In celebration of International Women’s Day👑 I’m re-sharing one of my all time favorite posts that I’ve ever written in the 8 years I’ve been blogging, and this was definitely my favorite ever photo shoot!!!

Finding My Inner Fierce

Fierce.

Fierce is the experience of bringing a new life into this world in a way that you had never anticipated and never expected–twice. It’s giving birth first by emergency Cesarean after a grueling 24 hour marathon, and then a few years later completely drug free, neither time by choice, but by necessity. It’s holding that precious baby in your arms and realizing *I just did that* I was fierce.

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