August 2014 – Everything in the Soul School class!

Brave Girls Club - August 2014 class cover

BEING TRUE TO BEING YOU….the NEW Subscription Soul School class is here!

Let’s take a look at what you’ll get…whether you’re a Basic, Deluxe, or Premium subscriber.

First, a reminder of your subscription options…each level receives more and more content…all with this month’s theme: Being True to Being You

Basic
Journaling Class plus Digital Journaling Kit (printables)  $9.95/mo

Deluxe
Everything in Basic plus full BRAVE GIRL online class & digital kit (printable)   $24.95/mo

Premium
Everything in Basic & Deluxe PLUS a beautiful BRAVE BOX w/ printed kit and MORE  $44.95/mo

Compare subscription levels and sign up here
Already enrolled? Visit the new August classroom in your dashboard

What’s included in ‘Being True to Being You’ and in the Premium BRAVE BOX?

Let’s take a look!

Brave Girls Club - August 2014 Brave Box

Here’s what you’ll see when you open the box…total gorgeousness!

Brave Girls Club - Aug 2014 Brave Box contents

A peek at what’s inside….

Brave Girls Club - Be True Patch

A limited-edition collectible patch…the detail is amazing on this beauty

Brave Girls Club - AUGUST PRINT

A ready-to-frame premium quality ‘Be True To You’ original art print.

BGC-August 2014 Collage Sheets

Designer collage sheets

Brave Girls Club - Be True canvas

‘Be True’ printed canvas to stitch and such

 

Brave Girls Club - collector button

‘Be True To You’ collectible button

Brave girls club - Designer patterned paper

Original designer patterned paper

Brave Girls - Affirmation Card

Affirmation card

Brave Girls - Affirmation card back

Affirmation card…take a peek at what’s on the back

Brave Girls Club - collage sheet

More collage sheets printed on beautiful card stock..and there’s that pretty patch again

814-stickers

3 large ‘prairie kraft’ stickers

journaling-sheets

Lesson sheets, journaling prompts and worksheets, transferable butterfly design, Truth Card Kit

word-sheets

Word sheets and phrases to go along with your ‘Being True to Being You’ lesson

DIY

Fun DIY projects (5 of them!) and a Brave Girl Camp recipe

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Every single piece is an original Melody Ross design…and you are going to LOVE it.

Melody Ross - Video instruction

Each class comes with a series of premium-quality videos.
There are over 20 videos in this course!

Brave Girls Club

You’ll learn Melody’s favorite art techniques and how to make our creative DIY projects. Let’s get our hands dirty!

 Come join us in Soul School! Learn about all the options or subscribe here.

A Garden Journal

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Welcome to my new little garden. This garden is a work in progress. After many hours of sitting in this place with the weeds and untended soil. I begin to see what this space could become.  It took days and days of tearing out brambles. Tearing out old dead trees. Pulling up weeds, and weeds and more weeds.  I learned about amending the soil. About irrigation, and garden pests.

Blisters and sunburns. Frustration and being- just too tired to move at the end of the day… I began to see just what she wanted to become.

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I guess I want to say this beginning took time and patience.

I HAD to do the hard work before I began to see any goodness in this space.

But for now, we have begun the journey, this garden and me.

For now I have decided to plant only trees and perennials. Making next years garden pop up all by itself. Then year by year, layer by layer this garden will become a beautiful place of love and beauty. She would, in the future… tend to my dreams and heart. Aware that this will not always be my garden. That someday someone will call this her garden I wanted to somehow keep a history of how it became.

My Garden Journal Was Born

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I thought I just might forget the names of all the new flowers I had planted as they popped their heads up next spring. So in my journal I included an envelope of all the flowers and trees I had planted. I begin to map out where I had planted what in my journal. Keeping track of the names of the eight trees we had planted. Trees that someday will provide cover this little nest

The last garden I had tended to, took years and years to become. I knew the name of  each tender blossom that lifted its beautiful head.  This garden, we were very new to each other. It knew I had lot’s to learn… She spoke very gently to me as I planned and tended to her.

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I love what is becoming of this little space. I am learning what she likes and what makes her unhappy… Too much water there. Too much sun in this corner. Where the tomatoes are most happy and where the hollyhocks love to spread out and cover the soil with the most beautiful blooms. Friends have dropped by to praise her… To bring her gifts. Some fever-few in this corner. A favorite cutting from their mother’s garden of long ago.

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Yes, she is becoming.

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Tomatoes and peppers are almost ready. For now She is making sense to me. For now we are making peace with each other. I no longer want her to be a California garden.

I have promised, I will honor just who she is. She is giving back. She is tending to me.

I will keep you posted on all the loveliness we shall have for the next month or so… Then I shall  begin to learn all new lessons of the next season in her life…

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We only get to see ‘slivers’ of each other…

A few years ago I heard some things about a man I hadn’t met.  I knew his daughter, and later his wife, which is irrelevant except that you need to know that I didn’t know HIM at all.  Never even seen the guy.  But I heard some rumors…horrible rumors about this man and I chose to believe them and let those ugly, yucky rumors cover him all the way up so that when I did meet him there wasn’t anymore good to see…only meanness, unfairness, cruelty and ignorance.

Which is ironic when you think about it.

Then I ran into him again and he hugged his son.

Then I ran into him again and he laughed and joked and started up a genuine conversation with me.

Then I heard that he searched and searched and searched to find the perfect over-the-top birthday present for his very young grand-daughter.

And whether those rumors were true or not, a life-lesson sunk deeply into my heart….

Everywhere we look we see (and hear about) different people….people who act and dress and think and live differently than we do.  And whether we stand beside those people for 5 minutes at Wal-Mart or for 50 years as our spouses, we never ever EVER get to see the whole person….all we ever get to see are slivers of each other.  The mistake we make…the mistake I made…was to let that tiny little rumor-of-a-sliver fill in an entire person.

Brave Girls Club - We never get to see the whole person

 

You’ve seen a mom yell at her kids at the store or the guy who cuts you off then flips you off, or the teenager who acts without thinking, or the crying child who interrupts your flight, or the customer service girl who is unhelpful, or the neighbor whose yard is unkempt who saves his loud projects for well after dark….

Somehow we figure that a 30-second view of someone’s life is enough to fill in all the gaps…you know you’ve done it.  I’m calling you out and I’m calling me out.  Because there is a better way to live.

Whether you believe in Jesus or not, you have to admit he taught some incredible lessons.  One of my favorites is “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”  In other words, if I know for sure I don’t want to be treated a certain way, I should also with certainty not treat anyone else that way.

I know for SURE that I don’t want anyone to take any of my little pieces and sculpt them into some warped version of me.

I’d much rather you see my pieces and let them be exactly what they are…pieces.  Don’t try to figure me out or put me in a box with all the other people that are “just like me”.  Don’t assume to know what’s going on in my heart because you know where I grew up or what I drive or who I talk to or where I go to church.  And certainly not because of a rumor you heard.

Read that last paragraph as if you wrote it, then you’ll know it’s true and the best, most loving, caring way to live.

I heard a quote once that I can’t find to properly credit, but it goes like this:

“You may hear what was said, but you will never know what another person heard.”

Sometimes I think never is a bit too strong, but in this case I think it’s just right.  How often will we know what’s inside another person’s heart?  Never.  Not ever.  Not the stranger’s heart, not your child’s heart, not your spouse’s heart.  Never.

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I hope I’m not coming on as condescending or preachy.  I hope you know that what I am saying to you I am also saying to me.  What a shame to mask each other.  What a shame to take a small sliver of someone and fill in the gaps.  We’re better than that…the people around us are better than we give them credit for.

Brave Girls Club - we only see the slivers

I think one of the things our brains do on their own is fill in the gaps, but let’s leave that for math problems and riddles…not people and souls.  Let’s try harder.  Instead of expecting people to be perfect and to think like us and agree with us…instead of seeing someone’s faults and weaknesses and filling in the gaps, let’s see each other’s slivers and let them be just that…slivers.

Teeny, tiny pieces of big, huge, magnificent (probably exceptionally good) souls.

love,
kallie

 

PS. The vintage woman image is courtesy of http://www.photojewelrymaking.com/(a free image)....check out their site!

Your path is YOUR path…the very path you were created to travel

Dear Strong Enough Girl,

There are seasons in life that come and go. Sometimes it feels like things will never change, or that we will never get through a certain time in our life — but we always do, don’t we? We always got through everything we ever got through — there was always enough, somehow things always fell together, and everything we needed always showed up from somewhere — sometimes just at the nick of time.

Some seasons of life are easy and breezy, some are very difficult. Some of our seasons are filled with people and support, sometimes we have to travel alone. Some of our seasons make perfect sense, even if they are difficult. Some of them make absolutely no sense at all while they are happening. Some of our seasons are downright boring. Some of our seasons completely rock our world. Some of our seasons change everything and nothing is the same after them.

Brave Girls Club - Your Path

ALL OF OUR SEASONS MAKE US WHO WE ARE.

And we continue to have what we need during each one of them, each season of our lives continue to bring enough of whatever it is we need to get through. Things continue to fall together exactly when they are supposed to.

So no reason to worry. It will keep happening. Even if it’s a season of uncertainty, just remember that everything always shows up when its supposed to show up, always lasts as long as its supposed to last, and always teaches us exactly what we are supposed to learn.

Life is incredible like that.

Please don’t forget that there is a plan for your life, and all of the seasons will make sense someday. Find the beauty in every single one of them, and especially learn the lessons. Pretty soon the seasons will change!

You are loved beyond measure.
xoxo

(Subscribe to receive our Daily Truth email on the home page of our website at bravegirlsclub.com)

Psst….life is up here….

If you’re like me, you hop on the computer “real quick” to do something specific, and end up spending an hour doing who-knows-what and forgetting what you came for in the first place.  And I don’t know about you, but those kinds of detours always leave me feeling yucky…robbed…and sort of like I just got sucked into another world.  A world where things aren’t real.

Before I go much further, I am going to invite you to do something I know might sound a little weird coming from someone who’s writing a blog post, but I mean it from the bottom of my heart and if you do it I will be absolutely thrilled.

I am going to invite you to turn off the computer.
Turn off your phone.
Turn off your tablet.

And look up.look up darling

Look around and see that life cannot be found on screens…not television screens, not computers or phones or tablets.  Those things seem to have taken over my life and my family’s.  The thing is, unless we’re really careful about what we allow to happen on those screens and we really limit our time with them, we will miss the real life that is happening just beyond them.

What’s happening beyond your screen right now?

Today in Nampa, Idaho the sky is blue and the breeze is gentle.  The grass is green and lush and the trees are dancing with it.  Our chickens are pecking away looking for bugs, and our rabbits are all stretched out trying to stay cool.  There’s life out there.

Inside my kids are giggling with each other and wrestling.

There are a few dishes in the sink and lots of laundry to do from the trip we took this weekend.  There are bathrooms to clean and a fridge to purge.  The garage could use some straightening.  More chores than I could possibly name, but there is life there, too.  The real kind.  The kind that leaves you feeling happy and satisfied once you’ve given them the attention they deserve.

That kind of happiness can’t be found anywhere else, and certainly not in a screen.

There are adventures to be had, bird-songs to be heard, people to be loved, tender words to be spoken, eyes to be looked into, flowers to be seen, breezes to be felt, meals to be cooked, art to be made, and even laundry to be done.  And in those things we will find all the life we are looking for.

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So let’s turn off our screens, look up and find the life that is waiting for us.

xoxo
Kallie

Everything you need…you already have

The truth is that every single one of us has everything it takes to do the beautiful and extraordinary things that only WE can do. And so we simply must go out and be extraordinary anyway. We must begin again anyway.


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We have everything we need. We are completely capable of doing the things that our heart yearns to do, to give the things that are within us to give, to heal our heart-hurts, to live the lovely lives our souls cry out to live .

xo

What have you learned about yourself since becoming a Brave Girl? (a sweet Brave Boots video…)

Hi, Braves!

Melody and I (and the rest of the BG team) are working night and day here at the Clubhouse on a BIG NEW project that we hope you will each LOVE (more about that soon)….and our poor blog has been a bit neglected. We promise that will change, but for today I went in search of the coolest thing I could find on our YouTube channel to share with you…something that you might not have ever seen but that is just hanging out there, hoping that someone will notice it.

I found something you will LOVE watching…because it is from YOU…from Brave Girls all over the world. It’s called ‘Brave Boots’ and here’s how it came about…a couple of years ago we asked all of you to send in photos of your Brave Boots (or shoes or whatever…) along with your answers to this question: What have you learned about yourself since becoming a Brave Girl?

Brave Girls Club - Brave Boots Video

Brock put the photos and answers together into one of the BEST videos we have ever made. I just watched it again and I was reminded of how much I LOVE IT…I love seeing your names and your photos and the things that you so beautifully shared. So whether you’re new here or you’ve been with us forever, this is a fun and moving video. Hope you enjoy it!!

love, kathy

 

 

 

One of my favorite summertime recipes…Pavlova (you can make this…I promise!)

One of my favorite Brave Girl Camp desserts is this….”Pavlova”…..yummmmmmmm…..a fancy word for a DELICIOUS meringue shell filled with sweetened whipped cream and topped with fresh fruit.

I know this looks fancy and complicated, but it is NOT. If I can do it, you can do it, and I’ll show you in this video that it really is pretty simple.  And there is something really magical that happens when you combine the crispy meringue, whipped cream, and some fresh fruit…it is absolutely scrumptious!!! I’ve used peaches, but you can use any kind of fruit you have around….berries are amazing in this dessert.

SO…be brave!! Try making this for someone you love….

And if you’re a words and pictures kind of Brave Girl, here is the photo tutorial version.

Start by gathering your ingredients.  You’ll need:

1/2 cup egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vinegar
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Before you begin, trace 4-inch circles onto a piece of parchment paper that is cut to the size of your baking sheet.  6 circles fit on each of our baking sheets.  You’ll want to space them out – leave about 1 inch between the circles so your meringue has enough room to grow a little in the oven.

Next, separate the eggs.  It will take about 4 egg whites to get 1/2 a cup, but measure.  When we did this, the eggs we used were small, so it took 5.  Definitely measure.

The easiest way we’ve found to separate eggs is to crack the egg, then drop it into your fingers.  Let the white fall through into a bowl and the yolk will stay intact in your hand.  Set the yolks aside to use for something else. (Make sure that not even a teeny trace of yolks gets in with the whites or the whites will not whip…everything has to be free of any kind of oil or fat….trust me on this.)

Next, whip the eggs for just a few seconds, until they’re frothy…like this:

Once the eggs are a little frothy, add all the other ingredients…the vanilla, vinegar, cream of tartar and sugar.  Then let the mixer go on high speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture is glossy and stiff.  You want to be sure that the sugar is entirely dissolved.  When you think it’s done, put a little of the meringue on your fingers and rub it between your finger and thumb.  If it feels grainy at all, it’s not done.  If it feels smooth, it’s done!  It should look like this:

The best way to form the shells…the way it turns out prettiest is to pipe them BUT you don’t have to pipe them (we’ll show you how in a minute).  If you’re piping though, you can use a piping bag with a large star tip or a ziplock bag with the end cut off.  To fill the bag with the least amount of frustration and mess, put your piping bag into a pitcher and fold it over the edge.  Then fill the bag.

Twist the piping bag until the meringue just starts to come out the tip.

You’ll find that the parchment paper might try to slide all over your cooking sheet.  The trick we use is to put a dab of meringue as glue on each of the corners.  The circles you drew on the parchment paper will be your guides as you pipe.  Be sure they are on the bottom side of the parchment paper when you ‘glue’ it down.

Then pipe little nests.  Start by making a circle that fits inside of the circles you drew…(it will grow and spread a bit in the oven).  Once you have a circle, go around the outside of the circle one more time to form a bowl…like a second story wall on the outside of the circle.

If you don’t have a piping bag or a ziplock, you can form your meringues with a spoon…like this:

If you have leftover meringue in your piping bag, don’t throw it out!  Use it to make little meringue kisses…mmmmm…

The meringues will go into a 350 degree (F) oven for 10 minutes.  Then lower the temperature to 300 degrees (F) and let them bake for 20 minutes.

When they are baked, they will look like this.  DON’T take them out of the oven yet.  Crack the oven door and let them dry out in the warm oven for 1 -2 hours before you get them out. (You want them to be completely dry and crispy…and that reminds me to tell you that you shouldn’t make these on a humid day…unless you want chewy meringues…hmmmm….come to think of it, that might be good….but I digress…)

While they’re drying out, you can get your toppings together.  This time, we used sweetened whipped cream and peaches…we’ve used all kind of fruit.  One of our favorites is berries.  Oh yum.

Add a dollop of whipped cream and fruit to the meringue…and Voila!  Pavlova!

Serve it on a pretty plate to someone you love….this is my little grandson, Jackson. He has a way of making a cook feel pretty good….

 

Try it and let me know how it turns out!

love, kathy

PS. True confessions: Say the shells are a total flop and they come out all wonky looking…(not that that I would ever admit that it has happened to me….) You can still turn it into a gorgeous dessert. Just crunch up the crispy meringues into big chunks and stir them into the whipped cream. Layer this in a goblet with the fruit…it will be gorgeous and delicious and everyone will think that’s how you planned it all along. (*wink*)

 

Thank You!! – We made you a video to celebrate!!!!! (it’s really short and really awesome! please please please watch!)

Last week we hit a huge milestone, thanks to ALL of you…..not only are we celebrating 5 years together as Brave Girls Club…but we now have 100,000 of you with us as Facebook fans!

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We put together lots of ways to thank you and we hope you will watch this little video…..we love you all SO MUCH and want you to know that there are many wonderful things ahead! Next month we will be launching the most exciting thing in Brave Girl history and we are working really hard to make it FANTASTIC! So…..stay tuned, and for now, please watch this video that we made JUST FOR YOU!

 

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Here’s to 100,000 more Brave Girls and many many many more lifetimes of Brave Girl goodness for all of us and for all of the generations to come. We love and appreciate you and we could never do this without all of us!

xoxo

melody and kathy

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Whatever it is….you can LEARN it!!

When I was ten years old, my friend asked me if I wanted to play on her softball team.  I thought it would be so cool to be on a team….I also remember thinking these exact thoughts:

“I haven’t ever played softball….I don’t know if I can do it….everyone else has been playing since they were 5…I’m going to look like an idiot…I don’t have all the right stuff…I don’t know all of the rules…I don’t know ANY of the rules….”

Despite my worries, my angel mother helped me get all signed up and everything worked out.  I know those worries seem silly when you’re an adult and you know know they’re coming from a 10-year-old….because you can look at that 10-year-old and say all of the adult things you know….

But have you ever had 10-year-old girl worries?  The ones that sound like this:

“What do I know?  Everyone else probably already knows everything.  And they probably all have natural talent, which is why they’re all so much better than me.  I probably couldn’t measure up.  I probably shouldn’t even try.  They’re all ahead of me anyway, I’ll never catch up.”

As if it’s some kind of contest or race.  Easier to tell that to some 10-year-old than to the aging woman in the mirror, right?  Or is it just me?

Do you know how old Julia Child was when she learned how to cook?  You know who Julia Child is, right?  She’s known all over the world…she’s famous for her cookbooks, her expertise, her passion for good food and her ability to make complicated recipes understandable.

Julia Child didn’t start cooking when she was 9, like you might think.  Or roast her first chicken at 13.  She didn’t intuitively know how to braise or saute or even chop and dice.  She learned it.

Julia Child enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu (a cooking school in Paris) in 1949.  She was born in 1912, so that would make her 37.  She was 37 when she decided she wanted to learn to cook….with all the learning still in front of her.

She went to Le Cordon Bleu for one year and…get this…FAILED her test at the end of the year.  She waited an entire year to re-take the test, which she did and this time she passed.  Thus began her very long and very successful cooking career…at 40.  (Side note: she was 36 when she decided to learn French…and enrolled in a French class.  Awesome.)

Is your mind blown?  But really….

Of course a 37-year-old lady can learn to cook, even if she never has before.

Of course a 10-year-old can learn to play softball….

And of course a 5-year-old or a 72-year-old Brave Girl can learn to make art….

….or play the piano, or grow a spectacular garden, or ride a horse, or swim the backstroke, or build a treehouse, or love somebody, or host a party, or sew a dress, or start a business, or speak in public, or write a book and all of the other millions of things there are to do in this world.

I didn’t come here to talk about Julia Child…..Brave Girls Club doesn’t even offer cooking classes (yet!)…..what I’m here to tell you is that whatever that “thing” is for you…YOU can learn it.

It’s not a mystery, it’s not impossible, it’s just something to learn.

For instance….music is a big deal in our family, and when a song seems hard or a part seems hard, one of my brothers always says, “It’s just an illusion…it’s not that hard.”  And he’s right!  Musicians perform perfectly because they’ve practiced and practiced and practiced and earned the ability to play complicated music….but every single one of them had to start at the beginning….every one of them sang a note or strummed a chord for the very first time, then just kept playing, kept singing, kept trying, hit a LOT of wrong notes and kept going before they got it.  EVERYTHING is that way!  LIFE is that way!

Brave Girl Art School started on Monday….and my kids (3 and 5) have been sooo excited to start.  We took these photos on their very first day….

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Maybe it’s because I was that apprehensive 10-year-old, but it makes my heart absolutely sing to see my little ones learning how to do art.  Maybe they’ll learn earlier than I did that you don’t have to know everything from the very beginning.  You don’t have to have some innate inclination toward art or music or gardening or baseball to be able to do it well and enjoy it.  Maybe they’ll be daring and adventurous and unafraid of new things.  Maybe they’ll never say those sad words, “I am not creative” and “I can’t do that”.

Maybe what they’ll grow up saying is, “I’m gonna learn that.”

I want to know: what is something you’ve always wanted to learn?  Then what I want to know is what is your plan for learning it?  (You don’t have to learn it today, but no excuses allowed!)

And if you ever wanted to learn to paint or draw or doodle or make jewelry or sew pillows or make pretty decorations for your home or if you ever wanted to see the pure JOY on your children’s faces as they learn to do any of those things, come join us for SUMMER ART SCHOOL!!!   Let’s LEARN it!!