Category: Friday Faves

#FridayFaves: Loralie Young, A Letter To My Skin

Loralie Young Paper Monsoon Desings

IT’S FRIDAY! YAY! FRI-YAY!  It’s Friday and I’m excited to bring back my Friday Faves, a spot where I get to feature some of my favorite people and share what they are doing. Today I get to share an incredible article from Loralie Young, a talented artist and beautiful soul living in Cambodia.


I met Loralie online through the magic of the Facebook. I had seen her casually online in a group hosted by Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson called Being Boss (OMG I LOVE THOSE LADIES! ::Fangirl Moment::) but we only really connected when she commented on a post made by a mutual friend, Heather Jabornik of Hiya Tootsie! and Candy Ass fame. Heather was giving a shout out to the amazing Lady Gaga after her SuperBowl LI halftime performance in which she absolutely slayed, and lamenting the online trolls who tried to body-shame Gaga for daring to bare her belly. I mean, come on.


That’s when Loralie wrote the most amazing comment I’ve seen in ages, and I reached out asking if she would let me share it here with you.  It’s an incredible piece of writing, and I’m grateful that Loralie allowed me to share it.  I hope that you find comfort and inspiration in it; I certainly have.  Please share. <3


Letter to My Skin

Skin. . . You’ve really made things hard. Oh, how we are judged by you. By your color, by your size, by your elasticity, by your age. . . You mask the person behind, distracting us from seeing the beauty of inner Self and focus only on the beauty of outer appearance.

You have millions of products and services dedicated to making you ‘better’, more ‘beautiful’, more ‘likeable’. People have lived, died, starved, feared, and even gone to war over you.

As a society, we have been trained to see you first when meeting someone, and subconsciously (or consciously) pass judgment, depending on our own personal ‘Skin Code’ that is ingrained in our thinking from birth.

But Skin, here’s the thing. I am kinda over it.

I’m tired of how obsessive we have become over you. I’m exhausted just thinking about the million different things I ‘should’ do to make you, my own Skin, more likeable, more perfect. I’m tired of being judged and put in a box because of you. I’m tired of being on the brunt end of jokes because of how you look, and enduring shame and embarrassment to be. . . well, in my own Skin.

Of course, I will still have time for you. . . I still have feelings for you and we’ll keep in touch. . . I want you to be healthy, but I also know that a ‘perfect Skin’ (is there really such a thing?) is sometimes only hiding something less than perfect inside. We both know this to be true.

So I’ve decided that you, dear Skin, are an unreliable litmus test for determining a person’s true Self. I have decided that evaluating a person’s Self based on their words, their actions, their characters, and their Truths are what are of ultimate importance to me. You will no longer get to make all of the judgment calls. You’ll still be a part of me, but you don’t get to make split-second characterizations anymore.

I choose to look for and trust in others’ true Self, taking the time needed to make my own opinion, without your input. I won’t give you more power and control than you deserve.

I just hope that I’m not the only one breaking up with this toxic relationship we’ve had. . .Hang in there Skin.


Loralie Young Paper Monsoon Desings

Bio: Loralie Young is a wife, mother and the artistic vision behind Paper Monsoon Design. She lives in the Kingdom of Wonder (Cambodia) and is passionate about making the world a more beautiful place for everyone. A creative designer by day and a fierce believer in love all of the time, she chooses to look for the silver lining of every monsoon in life.

Paper Monsoon Design
creative artistic solutions
092 857 758
instagram: #paper_monsoon

#FridayFaves : Tapping, Money, and Mindset Awesomeness with Nicole Lewis-Keeber

Nicole Lewis-Keeber

I’m SUPER STOKED to share about someone who has almost always been a part of my life, but through the magic of Facebook we connected as adults and realized that we have an even deeper bond than just our family ties.  My interview today is with my beautiful, brilliant and amazing cousin, Nicole Lewis-Keeber.  YAY! 

She and I grew up on opposite coasts and only saw each other very sporadically as kids, on the few occasions our family was able to travel from Southern California back to my father’s roots in North Carolina.   Here’s a snapshot of Nicole and the wonderful work she does. Enjoy!

Michelle and Nicole at VenturePOP 2016
Michelle and Nicole at VenturePOP 2016

Nicole is a Money Mindset Master with a background in therapy and life coaching. Using a conversational, engaging, humor-infused approach to complex challenges, Nicole’s talks and coaching programs  guide business owners, coaches, and healers to reveal and release their underlying blocks and barriers to financial abundance, so that they can master their mind, heal their heart, empower their future and make some damn money!

Nicole lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband Jason and three fat, happy cats. It is well known that Nicole loves 80’s music, a good martini and heartfelt snark filled conversations with friends.  


The Blessings Butterfly interviews Nicole Lewis-Keeber, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker)

TBB: For lack of a better term, what is your “role” now that you’ve started Nicole Lewis-Keeber Coaching?  NL-K: Speaker/Money Mindset Expert/Life Coach/Therapist.


Tell me when and how you got started in your current business.  NL-K: I rolled out the red carpet to my coaching business in March of 2015.


TBB: What inspired you to begin this Business? NL-K: I worked with my own Life Coach and the approaches she used changed everything for me. I wanted to do what she did and change lives in the way she had changed mine.


TBB: What were you doing before this NL-K: After 18 years as a therapist I was feeling a bit burned out, well actually crispy! So I decided that I still wanted to help people but in a different way. I wanted to work with people on their goals and dreams and not their problems and diagnosis.


TBB: In what ways is your Business making a difference, or how do you hope that it will? NL-K: My business and coaching practice has made a difference in a way I had not anticipated. As a money mindset coach I have been helping women who have experienced trauma in their past, reveal and release it’s grip so they can earn more money and be more successful in their business.


TBB: What do you love the most about what you do? NL-K: Seeing someone make changes in their life to support their ability to earn more money and feel more confident. I LOVE the “I made more money this month then I have before in my business” emails!


Namaste In My Lane


TBB: If Current You could go back in time and share a message with You From 5 Years Ago (or 10, or High School- your choice) what advice would you give to yourselfNL-K: I would tell her to take going to the gym serious and to put down the chips. 🙂    I would also tell her that her life is about to change in ways she never imagined and to hold on to her horses! To believe in herself and the possibilities.


TBB: What is your favorite daily ritual, and why is it important to you?  NL-K: I use EFT or Tapping as a tool in my tool kit and I use it daily to help me clear negative energy and blocks to allow for abundance and higher vibration. EFT is the practice of tapping on meridian points on the body to shift energy. It can be used to manage stress, deal with trauma and to release stuck energy that is connection to negative emotions.


TBB: This is very interesting! Can you tell me more about this? For people who are not familiar with EFT or Tapping, do you have any resources I can direct them to?  NL-K:  Sure! Here’s a link to a Tapping Resource that you may find helpful.


TBB: Is there anything else you’d like to share, or advice that you can offer to anyone feeling “stuck”NL-K: If you are stuck, triggered, in pain, or feeling “less than” it is because a part of you is sending you a message. Stop, breathe, and ask your inner voice or pain, what it needs to you to know. There is a gift and a message in each struggle, fear and doubt we have. I promise.


TBB: Thank you so much! If you’d like to get in touch with Nicole, you can reach out to her via Facebook (she does lots of Facebook Live videos too!), Twitter, or through the contact form on her website.





***NEW! Nicole has just launched her signature Transformational Wealth Training program and let me tell you it is JAM-PACKED with wisdom and hands-on skills training! From Nicole: “I have successfully worked with my clients to reveal and release the surprising hidden programing that has been keeping them from making more money, and stepping into their brilliance. I am excited to offer you an opportunity to reveal and release your own money blocks, by using the same techniques that have used to help my one-on-one clients. These techniques are powerful and up until now I have only used them with private clients.”  If you would like more info, I invite you to check out Nicole’s program right here.


Nicole Lewis-Keeber
Nicole Lewis-Keeber, LCSW         Nicole Lewis-Keeber Coaching


#FridayFaves: Healing Your Trauma Through Meditation, Featuring Rachel John of Soul BEing

butterfly on rocks

Sometimes you come across a person who exudes such compassion, kindness, peacefulness and genuine love for others that it makes you pause and wonder: How did they get to this place? 

Such is the case with my friend Rachel.  She and I connected online through an exercise challenge; she lives in Wales, I am in the US.  The energy and support within this online group was AMAZING. Truly supportive and really beautiful!  The challenge ended, but several (hundred) of us, mostly women, wanted to remain connected so Rachel soon formed a spin-off group that kept the conversations and support going.

I quickly learned that this remarkable woman was spiritually gifted, intuitive, and an expert at meditation.  YES!  That vibe is my jam!

I wanted to learn more, and asked her if she’d be willing to share her story. I had no idea that the pain and trauma of her past was so similar to that of myself and of so many other women.  I am incredibly humbled that she chose to share her very personal journey me, and allow me to share it with you.  If together we can help one more woman find her voice, find her courage, and find comfort- it’s a win.

The Blessings Butterfly interviews: Rachel John

TBB: What’s the name of Your Business/Company/Product/Project?

RJ: The business is Soul BEing, an umbrella for all tools you need to become whole and reactivate your true being. Mindful Coaching, Meditation, Mindfulness, Chakra Balancing / Energy Healing, Akashic Records Readings, Spiritual Development

TBB: What is your role there?

RJ: I am all roles, creator, strategist, manager, accountant

Soul BEing

TBB: What were you doing before this?

RJ: I was a General Manager in a large chain international restaurant running a £1,000,000+ store, Coaching, Training, Marketing, Selling, Mentoring, the list goes on. Before that I had always worked in Sales of the Service industry most notably my time with Virgin Atlantic Airlines as crew.


TBB: In what ways is your Business making a difference, or how do you hope that it will?

RJ: I know, that right now, my Coaching and blend of skills is helping women reclaim their power, voice and independence. It is allowing them to make conscious decisions which positively affect their lives without fear. As Brene Browne would say, “They’re daring greatly” , moving forward in life with courage and love and a new found zest that was absent previously.

I also have a collaboration coming up, which begins November 14th, that I’m very excited about. I’m working with a charitable organisation called Recovery Mummy that helps women suffering from post partum depression and psychosis cope with life after having their babies.

I’ll be running an ongoing Mindfulness Course for parents and children which I know will ease the stress and anxiety the families may be experiencing.


TBB: What do you love the most about what you do?

RJ: I love seeing a clients face light up and their joyous reaction when they realize a truth about themselves or they create their own solutions. It’s such a pleasure for me to help people re-discover their own inner power and wisdom and when they suddenly wake up and appreciate their own power and recognize that it was always there to begin with, it’s a wonderful thing to behold.


TBB:  So what inspired you to start this unique practice? How did you get to this place?

RJ: When I was younger, I was raped.  At the time I told one person who happened to bump into me while I was sobbing in the local train station. I didn’t tell my mother as it was her birthday a few days after and I didn’t want to upset her. I kept it in, squashed it and boxed it up, threw away the key. I became an expert avoider. I was crying inside.


A few years later I lost my home, my flat mate had a nervous breakdown, the fledgling company I worked for screwed me over financially, I took them to a tribunal court, I won the case, they didn’t turn up and disappeared, I lost my job and my money. I was destitute.


I started again. I always tried to remain positive so when I found a job in my hometown of Cardiff, I returned to live with my Mum. I thought this is my time to reset, save some money and get back to where I was and eventually go back to my adopted town, Brighton.


However, the Universe had other plans for me.  I had a beautiful daughter and went from full time to part time, I found a great house and while still getting myself together financially so I could only rent I was overjoyed with our little haven.  I planned on going to University to retrain as a Psychologist, then my new company offered me my own restaurant. I was unsure, my gut was saying no, go to uni but I took the position lured by the money carrot and the promise of security and extra responsibility. Two weeks before I was due to start in my own restaurant I snapped my Achilles’ tendon but I carried on regardless, a second blatant refusal to pay attention to my intuition. It was a stressful place and a difficult transition but I Managed to turn the ailing store around.


After only a short couple of years my gut was yelling at me to study again, retrain, go find your niche so I took a long overdue sabbatical to plan my route. While I was off work a male manager took over my store, I had no reason to think that was a problem. One day my area manager contacted me and asked, ‘even though I was off work would I like to go to the annual managers party’, which was a festival style few days in the grounds of the owner of the company’s house. Again I ignored my gut to say no, and agreed after I was persuaded ‘what a great time I’d be missing and all your friends will be there, we’ll miss you’.

On the first night of the festival I was sexually assaulted by the manager who was supposedly looking after my store.  Everybody had been given a one man tent, sleeping bag, blanket, water, and a sign to post outside your tent. I was so exhausted that night I said goodbye to my close friends and left the festival field early to go back to my tent and sleep. I hitched a ride on a tractor with two other women and a guy, walked across our field, took my wellies off, crawled into my tent, zipped up and fell asleep fully clothed.


I woke up I don’t know how much later to find a hand down the back of my jeans, inside my pants, this man, this ‘colleague’ in my space. I screamed at him to get out, I was in shock, totally freaked out. The next morning I told one person again, not sure what I was staying. She said he was disgusting, and that was that.


I later found out from another colleague that he had lied about the store handover I’d given him, he had failed my store audit, and completely denigrated my character behind my back. Nobody wanted to tell me as they were worried about how I’d react and how it would affect the party. So I was violated in every way.


Again I kept quiet.  I moved to a different store, returned to part time hours and to Assistant Manager and started studying Hypnotherapy. I loved the course and boxed up all my past hurt.


Unfortunately for me, my General Manager went on maternity leave and the coward that assaulted me was put in her place. At first I coped but bit by bit, he undermined my position by slowly delegating my work until I had nothing of relevance left. He used my part time status as an excuse then tried to have me removed by the area manager by telling him I was unhappy.

After standing in the tiny managers’ office watching these two grown men argue about who had initiated the move, I’d had enough.  I moved restaurant once again to only end up working with his partner. By this time it was too late for me to regain composure. I suffered a panic attack and things went from bad to worse. I became depressed, the following grievance procedure I processed against him in work dragged on and on. The next two years were like a blur as I suffered depression, panic attacks, agoraphobia and cried incessantly.

It’s from here that I carried on studying Coaching, Meditation, Mindfulness, Mindset, my Spiritual development and pulled myself back from the dark edges of life.  I re-found my inner strength and wisdom!  This is why I started my business and this is why I wanted to help women that have suffered without support, not realizing that everything they need is already there inside of them.


TBB: WOW, Rachel!  You have indeed been through the fire. I am so sorry for the years of pain, struggle and silence that you suffered.  It is easy to see how much of a transformation you have made in your life by finding your voice (and what a powerful example for your daughter too!) 

RJ: Studying Hypnotherapy, practicing and gaining my teaching qualification in Mindfulness and Meditation, counseling, coaching, my Spirituality and my resolve have got me where I am today, two years on. Strong and independent. That’s why I want you to be powerful too.

TBB: Can you tell me about any of your current projects?

RJ: I’m currently working on combining all of my ‘woo woo’ skills with my Mindful Coaching to create a phenomenally powerful and more holistic way to coach. I’ve always tended to look at the whole picture and introduced a little alternative into my coaching but now I’m being guided to totally immerse myself in this work and my clients are loving it.

I’m reading the Akashic Records, (which is a way to connect with your whole timeline or soul line as I like to call it), plus reading a clients Chakras and using these channels as tools to blend together for the fullest picture of the issues the client needs to work through.

They’re having real breakthrough transformations, smashing through old, outdated habits and patterns of thinking and living.

I am currently running a discounted offer for my Akashic Readings to just my group, but would like to extend this to your readers.

It’s an initial taster session at $43, the session incorporates Chakra healing/balancing with the Akashics for a 360 reading into the most important areas of your life. Value for October only, follow on packages are available.

TBB: Is there anything else you’d like to share, or advice that you can offer to anyone feeling “stuck”?

RJ: If you’re feeling stuck look for support. Don’t suffer in silence, reach out for help, for in vulnerability there is strength. When you take action the universe conspires to assist you wherever it can. You are never alone. Someone somewhere will be in exactly the same position as you. Ask yourself how would you help your friend if they were in the same position as you, then go do it for yourself. Failing that call me 😉

TBB: Fantastic! Thank You! How can people get in touch with you to get help with meditation, counseling, energy healing, etc.?

RJ:  You can find me on Facebook at Soul BEing Meditation or in my Facebook group 28 Mindful Days to Happiness  I’m also on Instagram @racheljohn_soulbeing

TBB: Thank you. You are a strong, beautiful human and I’m honored to share this. Blessings upon blessings, dear one. 💜

RJ: 😊😊🙏🏼 thank you xx

Rachel John Soul BEing
Rachel John, Founder of Soul BEing
BIO ~ Rachel is a qualified Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher,  an Holistic Transformation Coach and a skilled Akashic Records Guide who uses Chakra Balancing, Energy Healing and Mediumship to help her clients rediscover their authentic selves.

She is passionate about helping people bring  happiness and balance back into their lives, regain their lost independence, rekindle their creative spark and reignite their zest for life.

Rachel believes that with her compelling combination of practical guidance and spiritual support she guides her clients through an holistic journey of self discovery that ultimately balances the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves culminating in mindful harmony.

By making the decision to choose LOVE over fear and being brave enough to take inspired action her clients are taking their first steps to a more fulfilled life of understanding.

She is a Life Coach, a Soul Intention Seeker, a Spiritual Catalyst and Pioneer for Empowerment.


Friday Faves: Featuring Alana Hinojosa of Frisky Fish Essentials

Hello Loves! I am so excited to bring back my “Friday Faves” for the month of October.  My first interview is with my longtime friend, Alana.  We have known each other for many years, and though our lives keep us super busy, we still get together once or twice a year face to face with a few special girlfriends.  Usually we can only keep up with each other through the magic of Facebook, but I’ll take it!  She’s a wonderful woman, super creative, and I can’t wait to introduce you to her.

Your Name: Alana Hinojosa

Name of Your Business/Company/Product/Project: Frisky Fish

What is your role there? Founder/creator/owner/operator

frisky fish essential oil
This one is my personal favorite scent! I love to feel Fly. ~Michelle


Tell me when and how you got started in your current business: My son Rex was just born, and I had three kids under five and absolutely zero time for myself. So when Rex wanted to eat, I would sit on the floor in front of the fish tank in my daughters room and observe the fish. I found this to be a combination of entertainment and meditation, and began talking to people about my “Frisky Fish” when a friend told me I should use that as the name of my business.

At the time I didn’t even have a product, and I was attempting to make candles with essential oils. I also started making roll-ons for friends, when a friend told me “stop with the candles, put a label on these and sell them”. It was almost too simple. But I needed it to be simple. So that’s what I did.

What inspired you to begin this Business/Company/Product/Project?  I had given up my career when my second daughter Flora was born and knew I wanted to do something creative that allowed me the flexibility to be with my family. I LOVE the idea of working with my hands and creating and I had been using and blending essential oils for years. Because I was at a point in my life where I didn’t have time for things like yoga, meditation, reading, etc. I began to realize that you can find inspiration in the mundane and every day, like your kitchen when you’re cooking dinner for the family or on the floor of your daughters room, while your feeding your baby. I have this candid picture of myself that my daughter took around the time I conceived of Frisky Fish and I love how awful I look in it. In the picture I have breast milk stains, my hair is a mess and I’m the heaviest I have ever been in my life. But I’m smiling. And I like that Frisky Fish was inspired during a time when nothing around me was what one would traditionally find inspirational.

What were you doing before this? I was a special education teacher and a therapist for children with autism. Then a SAHM. And now a WAHM.

In what ways is your Business/Company/Product/Project making a difference, or how do you hope that it will? I source almost all of my materials from the USA, pay fair wages to my (currently) one employee. I use all natural materials. These are small things, but important values I believe.

What do you love the most about what you do? So. Many. Things. I love developing and naming new products and collaborating on the design and packaging. Working with retailers that my product is in, meeting fellow makers, connecting with people who use my products are also exciting parts of this business.

If Current You could go back in time and share a message with You From 5 Years Ago (or 10, or High School- your choice) what advice would you give to yourself? That’s hard because I’m pretty happy with where I am now and I know that where I am is a culmination of all of those mistakes and detours that I made. I think if there was something I could’ve learned a little sooner is that I didn’t need to, nor could I please everyone all the time and not to give my time and energy to people who didn’t appreciate it.

What is your favorite daily ritual, and why is it important to you?  Before I had kids, it was meditating and I’m finally at a point in my life that I can see that there will be time for that again. But for now, it’s cooking dinner for my family. And yes, I do it daily. I sometimes complain about it, but I’ve found it to be something that balances my need for something familiar and daily and my desire to nurture my family by providing a (somewhat) lovingly prepared meal that we sit down and eat together.

Are there any new projects or products you are working on? Currently I am developing two different ritual  kits (solstice ritual kit and full moon ritual kit) that are set to be ready by the end of this month.  I’m also ramping up my my wholesale game.  I’m in around seven smaller stores now and will soon be in all three of my local West Elms as a part of their LOCAL assortment (Eeeeep!). I’m in the process of creating a more attractive wholesale program and am enrolled in Lela Barker’s wholesale matchmaker program which is amazing so far. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share, or advice that you can offer to anyone feeling “stuck”?  Don’t compare yourself to anyone else! (Okay, so you will, but then just remind yourself not to and move on). You have something unique to offer to the world and to tell your story in your own way, whether if it’s by offering a service, a product, writing or drawing. Put it out there!  You’re awesome.

How can people get in touch with you?

FRISKY FISH is being added to West Elm’s LOCAL collection. Santa Monica, Beverly, and Pasadena West Elms will have 4 FRISKY FISH products on their shelves soon!

frisky fish/alana hinojosa
Alana Hinojosa, Founder/Creator/Owner/Operator of Frisky Fish

Friday Faves: Michael Powell Photography 

I’m always amazed by the incredibly gifted people in my world. Today I want to give a shout out to multi-talented photographer, musician and dear friend, Michael Powell. Holla!

Michael and I became friends years ago when he was playing guitar in a mutual friend’s band (more on Josie and her current band Eye the Realist another day). We bonded over LOST, a.k.a. one of the best TV series ever. I bawled my eyes out on his couch during the Series Finale. Oh, and it was a party so there were quite a few people there watching me totally meltdown… Anyway.

At that time, Michael was just starting to develop his interest in photography. I remember seeing his early work and telling him, “You’ve got a really good eye. I hope you’ll keep doing this, like, for real.”

I’m so glad he did!

A few years later, I asked him to take some pics of me to submit to a casting director for a small indie film (“11 Sexy Witches” – ha! I KNOW RIGHT?!) and he did. I got the part, felt good about myself, and then for personal reasons, let the part go.  But here’s the shot that got me hired:

Fast forward to May 2016: I’m in the process of updating my website for The Blessings Butterfly and needed some fresh photos. I want to communicate strength, confidence, beauty, and love- so natch, I call my friend and ask if he’s got any room in his schedule. We set a date and I was so excited!

First I had some pro makeup done. My girl Crystal at the Charlotte Tillman counter in Nordstrom (Cerritos, CA) made me look GLAMazing:

This past Wednesday, we headed into Bommer Canyon (Irvine, CA) for a magical photo shoot and I’m so STOKED on what we did!  We shot for about 90 minutes to capture incredible light from just before sunset through dusk.

Here’s a teaser:

I cannot wait to see the rest of the shoot!

Please check out the portfolio at Michael Powell Photography.  You can also visit my Resources page for info on his music project, Michael and Friends.

Peace & Blessings ~

Michelle ❤️