July 9, 2018

Old Habits die hard, and sometimes they are immortal.



 

 

It is no secret that I am a creature of habit, like big time. I am also super adventuresome, but I think my sense of adventure is possible because I feel secure when I keep many factors of my life the same. Lately, I have had some of my habits tested and realize God is trying to get me out of my “ruts” for my own good and the good of my family. I won’t go deep today, but i will share more at a later time. My old habit of yoyo dieting and nightly wine is gone, and I am a truly changed person for that and physically have never felt better. Sometimes we search for safety and security in the comfort of things that aren’t good for us mentally, spiritually or physically. While we think we are “comfortable”, we really have no idea how much better life could be with a little shaky, uncomfortable change and growth. Read Romans 12:2 if you want to hear Gods promises for these shaky and scary changes in life. He promises us that the will of God is always perfect 🙂

Enough of the deep stuff though. Let me tell you about my favorite beauty “Habits” that I have literally used for over 20 years! Moving to Texas for college was big for me. I grew up in Montgomery, Alabama where we like our fancy clothes and our fancy shopping at Parisians or for big shopping, we would head to the Galleria in Birmingham or Lenox in Atlanta. The “fanciness” of Montgomery, could not have prepared me for what I was to experience in Texas though. When we got to TCU the first week, I remember thinking “these are my people.” These girls knew how to dress, how to seriously fix their hair, how to shop and how to accessorize. It was next level for me and I loved it. Ray had given Katherine and I very specific instructions as to where I was allowed to drive my car and the main one being, you cannot drive to Dallas. The first weekend in Fort Worth, we drove to Dallas (Sorry Ray.) Once i got a taste of North Park and the Galleria, Hulen Mall just wouldn’t do. Does anyone remember how great the Rampage store just outside of Dillards at Northpark was? One store that was new to me was Neimans. Now clearly, I couldn’t spend much at Neimans because I was a college student, but luckily my Dad also appreciates Neiman Marcus and the rich sense of tradition and experience that a trip to Neimans provides. He would let me get makeup, formal dresses and lunches at the Zodiac, on him, which was so sweet.

One day when looking for a new perfume at Neimans, I stumbled upon Jivago, and have never looked back. I love Quelque Fleur, but lets be real, 87% of sorority girls at TCU were wearing Quelque Fleur in 1998 and I wanted to be different. JIvago is very similar to Quelque Fleur, but has a few more hints of almost a deep tobacco than the floral undertones of Quelque Fleur. Still people mistake the two all the time, but if you have worn Jivago long, you can tell the difference. I still remember standing outside the Kappa Sig house at like 2:30am one night and a super drunk friend of mine who barely knew his name at that point, said, “I have never smelt a perfume that I like as much as that” as he was being carried in to the house by some less drunk fraternity brothers. Since 1998, Jivago has been my nightly perfume and about daily perfume in the winter. I still wear it some days in the summer but I switched to Jo Malone Red Roses for the day in about 2004. (See, I get stuck on certain products.) Jivago has a warm scent to me and the last thing I need in Texas summers is more warmth. Sadly, Neimans stopped caring Jivago about 8 years ago so I have to get on Amazon now, link above.

I had the best pledge class around and learned so much from my native Texan friends. The girls from Amarillo and Lubbock were extra fancy and usually had the best makeup and beauty tips for some reason. One of my dearest friends to this day, Stephanie Turner introduced me to the best deodorant ever on an epic trip to Las Vegas in 1997. She and her mama know beauty products and I love them for it. Ive been wearing Donna Karan Cashmere Mist deodorant ever since that trip. I also usually get this at Neimans but I am sure they have it at any department store. It smells divine and works soooooo well. I am a super active and therefore super sweaty person and this completely takes care of it! I know that the trend is to wear natural deodorant, and I tried that last summer and can tell you that this homegirl needs real deodorant. i may try a more natural deodorant in the winter this year again, but I don’t have many vices so Im just going to consider chemical laden deodorant one of my vices and pray for the best at this point. The scent is also a rich and deep musky smell that is divine and will forever remind me of my long napping, long legged friend Steph.

 

These next two products are not super fancy but have literally been in my bathroom cabinet for at least 20 years as well. Nivea Essentially Enriched Lotion is my jam. Again, it is probably super chemical laden and probably on the top of all the “bad lists” for skin care, but I cannot quit it. Its gotten me through the super freezing super dry winters in Boston and thats big. I love the smell, I love the sheen it gives my arms and legs when its summer, and I love the consistency. I have tried other lotions and always come back to this one. Its just the best, and I am addicted. I keep one bottle in the bathroom and one bottle next to my bed because I later up morning and night. I take about an hour long scalding  bath each night so my skin gets super dry, and this replenishes me completely. Again, its filled with methyl, ethyl who’s a whats its (technical term), but as of now I am taking my chances. You can find this pretty much at any drug store or Walmart.

 

Lastly, this velcro roller (seriously, this actual one) has traveled with me from Fort Worth to Marthas Vineyard back to Fort Worth, to Boston, to San Diego, to Atlanta and then to Dallas. Somehow these pink rollers that I purchased at Ulta in 1999 have literally traveled the country with me for 19 years. I don’t know how I have managed to keep these 4 for this long but I have. I have had to fill in with some of these from Sally Beauty Supply  a few years ago, but 4 of the original remain. My usual process is to wash my hair, dry it all the way with a round brush and then throw it in about 8 of these big curlers to smooth it out and add a little volume. Lately I have also started to just dry about 3/4 of the way just with my fingers and let my natural curl and wave do their thing, but I still put it up in these curlers when it is close to try to tame the ends a little. I have crazy hair and this process gives me some shape and control. I just pin them in with large bobby pins, do my makeup and then take them out right before I leave the house. I would like to wear in the car but my kiddos do not like that idea.

 

This is after straightening my hair with a round brush while blow drying. Still have a few more rollers to put in. Please note the Eileen West gown, details below 🙂

 

 

 

This is agter i have let it go a little bit more wavy before putting in velcro rollers.

 

So these are my old standbys! What are some of your favorites???? Anyone using certain products for 20 years or more?

Happy Shopping,

Kristen

 

PS – Another product that I have been addicted to for well over 20 years are nightgowns from Eileen West, but no one wants to see a pic of me in those. My girls weekend last weekend confirmed that 5 of the 6 of my best friends since I was 6 years old are also addicted. Is this a Montgomery thing? I still laugh when I see myself in the long ones because my roommate when I lived in Boston would call it my Renaissance Faire attire. Lets picture this, I would sit out on our fire escape drinking vodka, eating a calzone and then smoking a cigarette in a Eileen West nightgown at age 23. Sexy.

Would you like me to recite Canterbury Tales?

 

June 12, 2018

Lets go to “Penneys”



Growing up in Alabama, we never referred to Penneys as JCPenneys. That would just be weird. Penneys clearly has had its issues lately, but I am telling you, its one of my favorite places to shop in Dallas. Truth be told, I actually prefer the Collin Creek location better than the Dallas location. Yes, Collin Creek is still open 🙂 I actually was in the store looking at their girls department, and stumbled into the womens section and found some amazing tops. As an aside, if you have a girl aged 7-14, their selection is the best around. The clothes are age appropriate and fun and reasonable. Its one of the few stores that Cici and I agree on. Here are some of my favorite tops and the links to each!

I got a ton of comments on this shirt when I posted our picture heading off to camp last week. I love this top so much that I purchased it in navy and in army green. It runs very generous so I am wearing a medium in this. I think you have to have fairly wide shoulders to pull this off or else the square neck will hit too far out from your bra strap. Its so cute and so so light!

 

 

This next one I also loved but the tunic length is not something I will wear I know. If you do like this length, its very reasonable and very flattering! Im wearing a medium in this one. This top is way longer on me than on the model, but I have had one or two more tacos than her and she’s probably a foot taller.

I also purchased this darling aqua embroidered top. I never wear aqua, but as I am losing weight, I am liking how I look in colors other than black all the time. This shirt runs really large so I got a small. If you are more on the petite side, this top will swallow you.

Clearly I have an issue with navy summer tops. I love them. This one is super casual and I would only wear for running around and general mom stuff, but its very cute and flattering and light! I am wearing a medium in this one and its a tad snug but the large was too baggy. In an aggressive moment, I decided to go with the medium.

 

And I fell in love with this top on the hanger but it just wasn’t me. I think its darling, and kind of wondering if I should have grabbed it, but I worry there is too much flow to the area around the middle and it may make me look pregnant. 

I  just grabbed this cute little dress out of the junior section just to see how it looked. I did not purchase it in the end because I have decided that off the shoulder styles add another element of anxiety to my life that I do not need. How do you people keep these off the shoulder styles up??? I fiddle with the sleeves on these cute dresses all night long and then feel like the tin man who can’t move for fear his sleeve will migrate above the shoulder. Not worth it, but cute dress. Great length for someone around 5’5″.

 

Last thing I picked up was this super flattering super supportive tankini top. I’ll just pair it with some black or white bottoms I have. I know tankinis are “out” but I have too long of a waist to wear a one piece and very rarely wear a regular two piece (see taco comment above.) I love how this looked on but did have the correct underpinnings to actually take a picture with it on 🙂 I am hoping to have a swimsuit post up next week with a few more finds!

If you have not stopped by Penneys lately, you really must. Definitely check out the girls section and the womens section. Super super super cute things!

I hadn’t planned on a photo shoot so thats why I am rocking no makeup and very dirty hair. Enjoy!

 

Kristen

 

May 29, 2018

My 40 year old skin care routine :)



I had several of you ask about my makeup and skincare routine last week. I will separate the two topics into different posts because Lord knows I love to talk about makeup and skin care. Lets start with the skin care, because the way your makeup lays all depends on the health of your skin. I will admit, I have not done the best job in taking care of my skin over the years. I am still guilty of falling asleep with makeup on, and maybe or maybe not, just touching it up and going about my day the next day. This wonderful habit started in my early twenties when I would be out until 3am drinking Cape Codders in Boston and then have to get up for work at 6. How in the heck did I ever do that???? Now I would say I was my face at least 5-6 nights a week, which is good for me.

 

As I have gotten older, I am struggling with redness. The redness likes to nestle on either side of my nose so it permanently looks like I have a cold. I have tried every wash and cream under the sun and have to say that Emminence Calm Skin Camomile Cleanser is my favorite. I feel like my face is actually clean but not stripped. I add a few shakes of the Emminence Rhubarb Dermafoliant  to my wash to exfoliate every three days or so. This line is completely organic and honestly so soothing.

 

The next step is something I just started about 2 months ago, but do feel like is a game changer. After I cleanse, I do one quick swipe with this Thayers alcohol free Rose Petal Witch Hazel. It has helped with my redness tremendously and is super inexpensive! I am also LOVING a spray of Avene Eau Thermal after the witch hazel to calm my skin even more.

 

 

After the cleaning and toning, I finish my face with NeoCutis BioCream Riche and then a dab of Neocutis Lumiere Riche for my eyes and I am almost done!Neocutis is like bringing out the big guns. I am definitely getting lines and wrinkles by the day and this stuff really heads that off. Most people will not admit to this either, but I do get Botox twice a year in my forehead and over my top lip. My late nights in Boston may or may not have included a few cigarettes and the damage is definitely there. The shot over the lip helps smooth those lines out. I also have a RBF (google it if you don’t know what it is) and I purse my lips constantly which adds to the lines. Neocutis is expensive but lasts forever and really works.

Ive started to need a good firming neck cream and as I continue to lose weight, I think the need will be even greater. I like Nectifirm, which I picked up from my dermatologist.

Not really skin care related but I have to share anyway. I have found a new Holy Grail of hair treatments. One of my college friends, Lauren Matthews, shared this product from Olaplex on Instagram last week. Here is the thing, I like to take bits and pieces of recommendations from friends and beauty writers, but if Lauren Matthews likes it, then its good. Lauren has never had a hair out of place or an outfit that was not perfectly curated since I met her at Rush in 1996. Most of my mom friends and I joke about the fact that we have days we look homeless and days we look super cute and there is not much in between. I can safely say Lauren Matthews does not ever look homeless. I have struggled with breakage from over coloring and have to be super careful with what I use. I put this Olaplex in my wet hair and left for 4 hours approximately and then washed. The directions say 10 Minutes but if you google it, most people suggest several hours or overnight. So then I washed, conditioned and only dried about 3/4 of the way so that I could use my natural waves. Look at how healthy this looks!!!! Huge bonus was that I did not use any heat tools like my normal flat iron or curling wand. I purchased my bottle at Sephora but I am sure there are other places to find it.

Blurry pic because I was trying to zoom in.

I just read through this post and it may win as the “most boring post of all time.” I am freaking tired. Moms you with me? Who the heck decided that three days of school after Memorial Day was a good idea? and what dumb butt mom signed her child up for sleep away camp the day after school ends??? That would be me. I am frantically packing my little girl for camp, and finishing  up our last week of school. This May has kicked my ass. Anyone else?

Please share my site and send me some skincare questions because I clearly cannot think tonight!

Have a great week!

Kristen

May 24, 2018

Express still one of my faves and I’m 40!



Ive been on a weight loss journey this month and finally have found success. I have lost15 lbs in 3.5 Weeks and found myself actually needing some new clothes. I was hesitant to buy anything new because my goal is really to lose 20 more, but as you will see from these pictures, homegirl looked like a bag lady. ( I am happy to share how I have lost weight, but please email me at gypsysoulinteriors@gmail.com instead of posting, because I know what a private and personal issue weight struggles can be.)

 

I had seen a cute ad for Express and decided to head in there while I was at the Galleria. As an aside, I proudly claim that the Galleria is my favorite Dallas mall hands down. It still has such a glamorous feel and reminds me of my childhood when we would travel to Atlanta to stay and Shop at Lenox or at the Riverchase Galleria in Birmingham and that is totally my jam. I also am obsessed with he Paper for Water installation over the ice rink right now, and if you missed the 70s fashion exhibit earlier this year then I’m sad for you, because it was amazing. i digress…

So i wandered into Express to see if they had any transitional clothes for me right now and I was amazed at the selection! I loved so many items. I do think Express is cut a little more on the petite side length wise. I am 5’4″ ISH and the length is always spot on for me. I also like my clothes a little shorter than most 40 year olds so also keep that in mind 🙂 I had a whole bushel of clothes to try on and these ended up being my faves!

As you will see, this cute top and shorts is looking a little bit big.) PCRS folks, keep your eyes peeled for clothes for sale from me 🙂

 

Full disclosure, i am not a fancy blogger with fancy pictures. Trying to get real images of real and imperfect body in cute clothes for y’all. Also, Express has the worst lighting that literally scalds you from the head down. I seriously thought I was going into early menopause with hot flashes in these dressing rooms. I feel the same way in the Preston Royal Athlete store. High beam track lighting in tight spaces is stifling. Seriously, I am 3 seconds from a panic attack in both those dressing rooms. Geez, I can get off track…

I love this outfit below. So much so, that I purchased every piece. I love a good black flutter sleeve top y’all. I carry my weight in my middle and I feel like a flutter sleeve, a puff, an angel wing or a balloon sleeve really balances my body and gives the illusion of a waist when I, in fact, do not have one. My bust, waist, and hips are all about the same diameter. I have a ghetto booty though, so that kind of balances it in the back.  I love how these shorts fit. They are not too long and not too short and hit me right below my belly button. I know high rises are popular but they are really just for people who have flat stomachs. Everyone says, ” oh they hide my tummy.” I am here to tell you, they do not. If you have a tummy, or a pooch, or that weird bulge above your c-section scar (Or like me have all three) high rises do you no favors. You look pregnant people, and the higher waist and longer zipper just accentuate what you are trying to hide. A waist band that hits about 1.5″ below you belly button is going to break up the pooch and help you out. These shorts are a mid rise, and I am wearing a 12.I am wearing a Large in the top.

 

There is a significant amount of stretch so ill report back if they stretch too much. The belt is simply darling. I bought the pink and black versions. I will say the sizing is misleading. I grabbed a M/L which i would assume fit 8-12, but it seems more like a 14-18, so ended up with the S/M. There is nothing small about me so don’t let the sizing fool you. Im even wondering if they were mis marked? Express is now carrying up to a size 18, so girls in those size ranges, they now carry your size too, and its not just online, I saw all the sizes up to 18 in the store!

 

I look so serious. I was serious. I had 37 minutes until preschool carpool line. Carpool lines still make me anxious!

 

The length is right between “hooch” and “Field Trip Driver Apparel.” Exactly where i like it.

 

Links to each of these pieces. i do not see the solid flutter sleeve top online, but they had plenty in the store.

https://www.express.com/clothing/women/mid-rise-camo-stretch-cutoff-shorts/pro/03014684/color/CAMO

 

https://www.express.com/clothing/women/pink-d-ring-ribbon-belt/pro/01021117/color/PINK%20STRIPE?selectedColor=PINK%20STRIPE

 

https://www.express.com/clothing/women/floral-ruffle-sleeve-top/pro/08623781/color/BLACK%20PRINT

I also adore this combo. This top ties in the front in a good place to hide the above referenced pooch without looking like a maternity top. I like that I can tie it tighter as i continue to lose weight. The arms again are oversized so it again creates the illusion of a waist. I bought the Large in this top. These shorts are so darling too! The are the low rise distressed denim short (Link below.) The rise is definitely lower than the camo ones, but not significantly. If you have skinny legs, I am not sure these will work for you. I have a booty and pretty muscular thighs and they are just on the edge of being too wide in the thigh opening. I am wearing a 12 in the shorts.

Love these shorts! And this top!

https://www.express.com/clothing/women/low-rise-relaxed-raw-cut-destroyed-stretch-denim-shorts/pro/05874480/color/TRUE%20WHITE

 

https://www.express.com/clothing/women/tie-waist-rolled-sleeve-blouse/pro/06474476/color/TRUE%20WHITE

 

It cracks me up how different these clothes look on me than on the models in the pictures. This is exactly why I wanted to do this blog! So many of you are real women that fall between the tiny sizes and plus sizes and I really want to show you how to shop and what will flatter your body! I love questions and please continue sharing my site!

 

Happy Shopping!

 

Kristen

May 10, 2018

Favorite Outfit Finds !



I’ve decided to start blogging again! I love writing and love sharing fashion, interiors and family products and prefer this vehicle so I can attach links.

Many of you know I have a love of clothes, but life is expensive so I have to be smart about purchases and smart about my closet. My closet is so much smaller than you may expect, I just have learned over the years what fits my body and what will be versatile to pair in various ways. I am not short, not tall, not a size 2 and not a plus size, and I really haven’t found many blogs that cater to this average size. My focus will primarily be for us gals between a size 8 and a size 14, but will always showcase clothes that look good on many different sizes too!  You will see that I buy a good bit in the petite section, because, as much as we don’t want to admit it, 5’4 is petite and not regular. Let me tell you girls, when you start buying pants/jeans in the petites section, it will change your life. Hems are correct, inseams are correct, and the “all important but often over looked” knee break actually hits in the correct spot. All that being said, I have wide shoulders and long arms and absolutely cannot buy tops or jackets in the petite section. Its taken me 40 years to figure out what looks the best on my body and I love helping others do the same. Please share my site with friends and please send in questions! I love to answer questions about fashion and fit for all body types. I also looove to locate hard to find items that you are searching for, so please send in any questions you have to gypsysoulinteriors@gmail.com.

 

So for my outfit of the day, I LOVE a good pair of shorts. Right now, I have these babies on repeat.

https://factory.jcrew.com/p/womens-clothing/shorts/solid/drawstring-short/H5618?color_name=navy

I purchased the navy and the navy stripe. I love that they have a slit in the sides and love the fit. They run a bit large though. I am wearing a size Large and maybe could have sized down but not sure. The top I am wearing is this one from Old Navy, once again, I have this in the yellow floral and this navy stripe. I am wearing a large in this top and do have to safety pin it or the girls will be a little too visible if you know what I mean. I am not seeing the navy and white stripe on the Old Navy site, but they had plenty when I was in the store.

https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1054656&pcid=72091&vid=1&pid=201918012

Such a light and versatile outfit for the daily mama grind! Please share the site with your friends and follow me on Instagram @gypsysoulshops.

Love,

KD

December 11, 2017

Heavenly Care Update and Request for Christmas Help!



I wanted to give a quick update on how far your generosity has gone for Heavenly Care! If you do not know the full story, please read previous blog posts or click this link  https://www.gofundme.com/Heavenly-cares-we-see-you-fun. I am thrilled to say that the school was able to have a new second working sink installed with the money we have raised so far as well as fixing most of the floors!!! Thank you!!! These are some of the things we take for granted in our children’s schools but these are things that the precious babies at Heavenly Care has been without. They were able to take ALL the 3-5 year olds to the fair and also get each one a corn dog! The kids were over the moon! We also dis such a great job on the costume drive that each child had a costume this year without Mrs. Vanetta having to dip into her own pocket. Thank you all so incredibly much!

 

Seeing the livestock at the State Fair of Texas!

 

New learning aids!

A new working sink!!!

 

The money we raised early in the fall has gone so far and I am so thankful for the donations. With Christmas coming, there are some additional needs that I am trying to meet for them.  The director, Mrs Vanetta said she was going to try and give each teacher (15) small gift cards or maybe some hand lotion or something similar that she could afford . Well I think we can do better than that. These teachers come from extremely humble means themselves and literally give any additional resources to these precious babies at the school. I would love to ask any of you who would like to donate to do so through the Go Fund Me account we have set up. My goal is to be able to give each teacher a $25 gift card to Walmart. I also want us to bless this amazing woman, who runs the school and takes care of EVERYONE under her roof, with a slightly larger gift card for her to spend on herself. As far as the school children, many will not have presents under the tree this year so we have been collecting money/toys for them well. Some of the parents do not notify the school until very close to Christmas Day so i like to have a few gift cards in hand for these last minute requests. Many of the children were “Angels” this year and the Salvation Army has struggled to fulfill some of the gift wishes this year because of a slow year of donations.  The 4 and 5 year olds are taking a field trip next week to sing in nursing homes and Mrs Vanetta would love to be able to take the children to iHop before they sing. It’s something she is able to do some years and we are trying to make that happen for her this year.

Sweet Mrs. Venetta!

 

 

Lastly, there is one teacher at the school who is a true angel on earth. Mrs Vanetta could not do what she has done without the help of the preschool teacher, Mrs Lewis. Mrs Lewis has become a close friend and a mentor to me. I see the way she gives everything to these kids just to make sure they know someone loves them. She confided in me on Friday that she is fighting another round of breast cancer. Through her tears, she said nothing can happen to her because she is the only one who tells some of these children that they are loved every day. Can you imagine? She is so tired she says but will not miss a day of work because she has to be there to tell these babies they are loved and they are important. I thought a larger gift card would also be so helpful for her. I am attaching some recent pictures of your donations and work. The GoFundMe link is also attached below. We would so appreciate any donation, no matter how small to help these Angels on earth.

 

https://www.gofundme.com/Heavenly-cares-we-see-you-fun

Please know that every little bit helps out and these kids and teachers appreciate every single little bit we can give. Thank you for reading this and please feel free to email me any questions you may have. My goal is to raise $1500 by Friday Dec 15th.

Merry Christmas!

Kristen

October 5, 2017

Huge Thank you and an Update on Heavenly Care!!!



I will be posting follow ups to my GoFundMe campaign for Heavenly Care Child Development center on this site going forward. Its better than clogging everyones Facebook feeds and gives me a great platform to share pictures and videos. If you have not read the story behind this campaign, I strongly urge you to. God very specifically spoke to me and put me in a physical location that can only be described as Divine Intervention in order to help a group of people last year. I am fulfilling my promise to him to carry through with his request and honestly, am gaining more personally and spiritually than I could have imagined.  Please click here and read the backstory. It will give you chills.

https://www.gofundme.com/Heavenly-cares-we-see-you-fun

First of all, just a thank you does not feel sufficient for everyones generosity! So many of you have donated financially, with goods or with services and we are blown away. The list of needs is super long but when you step into this school, you realize how incredibly fulfilled and happy these kids are with so little. That is all due to the teachers and staff and their creativity, passion and love for these special kids.

I visited Friday and was greeted by about 20 of the cutest doctors I could imagine. Mrs. Lewis, who teaches the 4 year old class, instills in these children that they can be anything. She wants them to know that they can be anything no matter their race, sex, religion or socioeconomic background. When I came in, she had stations for “Pet Doctors”, “Baby Doctors” and “Adult Doctors.” I LOVE this woman and her selfless passion for the kids.

Dr Kenya

While I was there, I got to go visit Miss Ruby who cooks for all these children. She was fixing beets! Beets! And the children were gobbling them up! A) She is a hell of a cook and B) When I was reminded that some of these kiddos do not have food at home, you realize how delicious beets can taste to them 🙁 Luckily, they are being subsidized for the students food during business hours. Mrs. Vanetta likes to give some little bags of food to some of the children in the evening and on the weekends, because some do not have any at home. Part of the money donated will be used to buy some non perishables. If you would like to donate some food, good ideas would be granola bars, apple sauce packets, cheese crackers, peanut butter crackers, cereals etc. Please contact me about how to make a food donation. Because there are small children at the school, its safer for me to make once week trip vs strangers coming in constantly. Many of us with young kids in preschools understand that the stranger in the school situation is something that has to be monitored closely, even if it is all to help the kids.

I was able to drop off about 8 boys Halloween costumes while there as well. If you remember, the staff has to create costumes for many of the children for Halloween. I learned that the school takes a field trip to the local nursing home on Halloween and does a parade for the elderly residents. How wonderful is that!!! So the teachers like to make sure each child is included and has something similar to a costume on. I know I have old costumes, and will be donating some, but I ask if anyone is cleaning out closets and playrooms and has costumes, or pieces of costumes, please think about donating to Heavenly Care!

Another amazing story I was told on Friday is how Heavenly Care celebrates birthdays. Many of the children do not have the funds to bring cupcakes to school, and some may not even have cupcakes or cake at home, so Mrs. Vanetta uses her own money to make their birthdays special. She also thinks its important that the children know how to bake a cake as a life skill. Amen sister. So she brings all the ingredients to school and they bake and serve their own cupcakes!!! How much fun is that!!! Just look at these pictures! She also tries to give them one or two small presents on that day! Seriously, this woman is an angel!

 

 

Lastly, I want to post the video of them receiving their first installment of the money from Go Fund Me. They were moved beyond words, and spent the next 10 minutes crying and praising Jesus.

Vanetta and Mrs Lewis

My visit ended with the most heart felt and God filled prayer that Ive ever been a part of. They thanked God for our connection, for everyones generosity and then prayed for me. Specific prayers that I am not sure how they knew I needed right their at that very moment. It was magical.

Thank you everyone again!

Here are my bullet point lists of what would be helpful for the school currently. I am managing the donations because its a small facility and while so much is needed, they cannot be inundated with boxes etc because there is not a lot of room.

  • Financial contributions. This way, they, or I can buy what is needed when. On the immediate list is corn dogs and ride tickets for the Fair, and money to fix the stairs in the back.
  • Halloween Costumes – Size 12m -6X primarily.
  • Underwear
  • Diaper cream
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • I mentioned the stairs in the back above. I am sure this would be an amazing project for a boy scout Troop or Young Mens Service League? Let me know if you may have any contacts here.
  • A locksmiths evaluation

If you feel led to donate, please do so through the link above or email me at GypsySoulInteriors@gmail.com and I will coordinate with you!

 

Thank you so much to everyone!!!

 

 

August 21, 2017

Gypsy Soul Interiors Custom Artwork 2017 – Part 1



This year has been so great and so busy! I get asked a lot if I have pieces for sale online and the short answer is “I wish.” Being a stay at home mom and art only being my side gig, I truly only have time for custom orders at this point. Occasionally, I will have a few pieces for sale that are not commissions. Ive said many times, art is my therapy so during stressful times or even happy times, I paint. (I guess its a better vice than vodka. Ok, who am I kidding, often times there is a glass of vodka…. or wine…. or tequila… involved.) I digress. Thank you for your support and please contact me with any art needs I may be able to collaborate on!

Love,

Kristen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 18, 2017

Custom Mixed Media Portraits, with a little Gypsy Soul……



I was looking through old emails and realized that last year at this time I ran a special for family portraits. School is finally starting which means we will be at Christmas before we know it (Hobby Lobby has been “at Christmas” since April, if you haven’t noticed.) I realized a few years back that I preferred getting and giving unique handmade gifts to my relatives and friends instead of “stuff” that can be found at any mall. Handmade from the hands of children is the best kind of handmade, but for those of you wanting a meaningful gift for grandparents, spouses, children, a custom painting is the perfect answer. I take some of your favorite pictures from your families vacations, special days or just “regular” days and turn them into a custom painted canvas to enjoy for  years to come.

 

I work in watercolor and acrylics and prefer to let the picture and setting decide the medium. If you follow me on instagram, you will see that my personal design aesthetic leans toward more modern, so I enjoy playing around with backgrounds that are not so literal.

 

 

 

As the customer, you can give me feedback on your preferences and we run from there. This year, all orders will be due by September 22nd (extending one week) and the special pricing is as follows. (Note, if you have placed an order with me in the last month, I will also be honoring this discounted rate.)

11X14 – $225

16X20 – $295

20×24 – $335

Upon completion, I can recommend a printer to help you make additional prints or copies of this painting to share with your loved ones.

 

To order, please contact me at gypsysoulinteriors@gmail.com, and put “Custom Portrait” in the subject line.

As always, I am available for commissioned work on large abstracts in acrylic and watercolors. Currently, these three area available and can be customized.

And for “handmade by little hands”, stay tuned for a blog post next week with some great craft ideas to start now with your kids for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

If you don’t already follow me on Instagram @gypsysoulint, please do! I post all new pieces on Instagram first so you will get the first peak at available works.

 

Kristen

 

 

November 5, 2016

Carolines Creations benefitting Every Mother Counts and Dream Park Fort Worth



My name is Caroline, but lots of people call me Cici. I have been working on pictures with my mommy to sell to raise money for Every Mother Counts and DreamPark Fort Worth. I chose to do a service project as my semester project at my school. I am in the 3rd grade. When my mommy was telling me about different charities, I wanted to choose DreamPark and Every Mother Counts because they help mommies and kids.

 

I chose to do some paintings to sell to raise money. My mommy is an artist and I love working with her so it was a perfect idea for us. I love to travel with my mom, dad and baby brother and so she gave me the idea to paint some cities I like. New York and Fort Worth are two of my five favorite cities so I chose to paint them. My other three favorite cities are Boston, Paris and Jackson, Mississippi.

Hard at work

Hard at work

 

img_5816

 

DreamPark is a park that is being built in Fort Worth, Texas for children with special needs and not special needs to play at together. 131 children out of 1000 children receive special needs services in Texas. The idea of DreamPark was found in Wisconsin at a park that was accessible to all children and Mrs. Churchill had the idea to bring it to Texas. I would like to donate money to DreamPark because I had a friend in my kindergarten class that had special needs and I know he would like to play on this playground. My paintings benefitting DreamPark are of the Fort Worth Stampede Longhorns at Christmas time. My family and I go to Fort Worth A LOT! My mommy tells everyone she would move there. I am also becoming a Fort Worth girl. Every year we go to the Fort Worth Stock Show and multiple times a year we go to the cattle stampede down in the Stockyards. Cattle, including longhorns are a big part of Fort Worth history so I wanted to paint them on my Christmas painting. I used the colors from the Christmas painting to paint an abstract painting to match.

img_5980

“CHRISTMAS IN THE FORT”

 

"JOE T'S"

“JOE T’S”

Every Mother Counts is a non profit that I learned about from my mommies friend, Kristen. Kristen works for Every Mother Counts and is always running races to make people know about poor care for mommies and babies around the world. In 2012, 500,000 moms died from being pregnant and having babies. There are three reasons that mommies die or become sick during pregnancy and childbirth. One is transportation. Two is education. Three is a lack of medical supplies. EMC raises money through running races which symbolizes the distance of how long some mommies have to walk to get to a hospital for medical care. In 2016 instead of 500,000 mommies dying, only 300,000 mommies died. Every Mother Counts has raised over 2.2 million dollars pregnancy and childbirth care. I chose to paint a picture of New York at nighttime with Rockefeller Center in it. The taxis have ads for Hamilton, American Girl Doll Store, and Dylan’s Candy Bar because they are some of my favorite things in Manhattan. I also painted a church in the picture. We have a matching abstract painting if you don’t want the city scene.

 

"NEW YORK"

“NEW YORK”

"CENTRAL PARK"

“CENTRAL PARK”

We will be selling my paintings and prints at West Elm Mockingbird Station in Dallas on Sunday, November 6th from 11-3. Please come see my paintings and support both of these charities.

img_6103

 

img_6111

We will have prints, framed prints, acrylic blocks, and boxes of 8 notecards in all the designs available.

 

img_6073

If you would like to order online, you can email my mom at gypsysoulinteriors@gmail.com and put “Carolines Creations” in the subject line. She will mail your order to you or you can do porch pick up in Dallas. She accepts paypal, venmo, cash and credit Card.

Thank you for reading. I hope you will consider ordering my prints.

Sincerely,

Caroline