Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reggie's Dawgs

I was recently asked to design a t-shirt logo for an amazing cause. A group of friends were starting a campaign to help support their friend fighting a brain tumor. Each of them will be driving Reggie from Dallas to Houston for his treatments and giving him encouragement before and after. What an amazing set of friends! After seeing the logo they decided the would use the logo to create a Facebook page where Reggie could update everyone as well as a link for people to donate gas money and pass out buttons to show even more support.
Reggie always said, "If you want a friend in this town, you need to get a dawg." Best wishes Reggie's dawgs team.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Two little angels

These little guys are full of so much adventure. Even though life has thrown them some set backs they still run jump and play hard. I could barely keep up with them on my recent visit. Thank you to all friend and family who continue to keep them in your prayers. My heart is full of joy when I see them smile. I miss them already and I can't wait to have a little one of my own someday.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Juker Paleo Burger

When I was trying to come up with a yummy football Sunday meal I was thinking boy would a hambuger be delicious. The ringer was I am in week 3 of my paleo challenge with 7 weeks left, so definately no bread. The burger was topped with a little organic mustard, turkey bacon, sauteed mushrooms and purple onions, and avocado with salsa. This was just as good as any restaurant burger I have ever had. Another idea would be to add some grilled pinnapple instead of the salsa.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Financial Peace victories!

Well friends, as you know Jake and I are avid Dave Ramsey - Financial Peace followers and this year we hit stage 4 (invest 15% of income for retirement) of the program! This is the point when all our debt(except the house payment) is paid off and we have our 6 month expenses saved for emergencies. Very exciting things are happening in the Juker house because our budget obedience. Ever since we purchased our home we had our "project wish list" that we badly wanted done and I am so greatful that many of those projects are coming to pass.

First of all our home is about 13yrs old which means there are brass fixtures all over! We REALLY dislike the look and want a more up to date look.

Current Projects
1. Cabinet Hardware - To save money have spray painted the brass knobs and handles in the kitchen to a silver nickel finish to match the appliance handles and painted the bathroom ones in brushed bronze. I was surprised at how great they looked for just a $5 can of paint. If I would have purchased them new they would have cost $110 to replace, so I saved $105!!!

2. Light Fixtures - We have hated the chandeliar in our home since the first day we moved it. It is the cheapest one the builder could have installed and the one in the kitchen is worst, something out of a pizza hut restaurant! I am exagerrating of coarse, but never the less I am so glad to get rid of it. So we are replacing the flush mounts, a pendant light and chandeliar.... there are 3 of the old flush mount lights that I spray painted the bases with brushed bronze. They look great and they will go in the laundry and closets. Recycle and reuse when possible right! There is a good chance I will try to spray paint the ceiling fan bases in brushed bronze and replace the blades. So many people are selling their old brass stuff on ebay and craigslist they are not worth more than $10-$20 dollars!

3. Counter Tops - Oh yeah this is the dream of every cook to have a nice counter top. We chose pretreated Granite in an earth tone type color. It is really neat that now you can treat the Granite and not have any of the bacteria problems that used to be attributed with Granite. The under mount sink that came with installation is awesome. It is an offset sink with just one hole for the moen facet. All of the plumbing vents for the disposal and dishwasher is underneath, so it is less for me to wipe around and keep clean. Gotta love that.

4. Back splash - Next is the beautiful back splash, which I am really excited about. There are so many options to pick from, but I decided to go with a simple pattern with the tumbled travertine tile and a fleur de lis accent tile every foot. We are going to attempt to do this ourselves to save a little cash. I am hoping to take a Home Depot class to get the gist of it. We have watched numerous utube videos, so its time to get hands on. See a photo below of the rendering I created in InDesign.

After this will be painting the interior of the house and window treatments, but not sure when that will happen. All of these projects could not have been possible with out the budget saving plan we kept to and God blessing our finances. Thanks to all my friends who have been listening to my creative ideas and giving great suggestions to save money. This is something I have been dreaming of doing for the last 5 years and it is finally starting to come together. A big thank you to my sweet heart for all the hard work he puts in each day to make this possible.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Paws in Prayer

This is such a cute video, which really makes me think about how I can incorporate prayer in all facets of my life and to all family members.... even those fuzzy ones.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Big Hearts for a Big Purpose

My best friend Brittney and her family will embarking on an amazing journey to serve the Lord in India. I wanted to share their story and their mission with you and hope that it touches your heart. It amazes me how far a few dollars can go in India(check out this video). Brittney and Ryan are the hands and feet of Jesus and you can be too!

Ryan and Brittney are passionate about helping those that are in need and have always had a heart to make a difference. Ryan’s first trip to India in July 2009 with BFO changed him forever and he knew had to be involved with this ministry. Brittney has experience working with young adults within several non profit organizations and Ryan has worked as a school teacher. As BFO staff we will be embarking on a life changing journey to India in October. We will be leaving the comforts of our home here in America to be missionaries in India and around the world. Business For Orphans establishes small businesses for orphanages to help them become self-sustained. (Click here for the Business for Orphans Video)

Ryan and Brittney I love you guys and I am so proud of you!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Are you feeling beautiful today?

For centuries, women have gazed into the mirror in hopes of seeing beauty in their reflection. We have all done it, looking for any flaw, wrinkles or scares. If only had voluminous hair, smoother skin, and a body like a swimsuit model. As a society we put a great deal of value on our appearance, but fail to put the same value on our character/heart. How quickly we forget the most beautiful thing about ourselves is our heart. Our heart is the well spring of life. It directs our motives and actions. Beauty has the power to inspire and lift others up. So ladies, shouldn’t we be more focused on transforming our hearts and minds. How can we do this?
First, evaluate what you are feeding your mind. TV and music have a way of creeping in messages to our subconscious which are not healthy or encouraging. Well it’s plain trash most of the time. Filtering out those messages would definitely allow us to think more clearly. Second, take your thoughts captive and focus on the things of God. Have you picked up your bible lately? You know the paper weight on the nightstand, its time put it to good use. The bible is a beautiful love story, full of adventure and beauty. Don’t get me wrong I totally believe in keeping our bodies healthy, Ester had a whole year of beauty treatments before she was presented before the king, but it was her pure heart that won the king over. She had the complete package: respect, honor, love, courage, and a healthy fear for God. If you want to know the truth about how precious and beautiful you are, go to Song of Songs. The poetic description of a woman’s inside and outward beauty is jaw dropping. Third, how are you investing your time and money in regards to your beautiful heart? Read an inspirational book, I recommend Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. Have a monthly breakfast with girl friends that encourage you. Send a kind card to a family you haven’t heard in a while. These little changes will shape and form your heart into a living work of art. The next time you look in the mirror try looking through God’s perspective lenses, you might surprise yourself. You are a rare gem!

Join the Beautiful Movement. Women across America are leaving sticky notes on bathroom mirrors that state, “You are precious and beautiful.” These notes have encouraged and reminded women to value themselves. Those little voices in our heads, that say “you are fat,” “you are not pretty,” can really destroy our self esteem. Be empowered to spread the message that we are all beautiful and precious.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

To The Rescue

For me, this photo tells it all. This is the moment when you step out on to the water thinking you can do it, you can walk on water all in your own strength. You know the feeling... the determination that you can make that relationship work, complete that daunting project, or have the wisdom and patience to teach a group of kids. These are good goals.... but we forget that without God we drown in our own mess. God wants us to get out of the boat and walk on water with him. He wants us to TRUST him and take risks.... dream big, but we need to ask him what his will is for us. After the green light from God don't forget to keep your eyes focused on him while doing so. Just like when Peter walked on water, he asked Jesus if he could come to him on the water. Peter not only had the courage to step out during a storming night, but he kept his eyes fixed on Jesus. Those first steps walking on water must have been exhilarating, but soon short lived. The second he took his eyes off of Jesus, his source of strength... the bottom fell out beneath him. The lesson here is not that Peter failed to walk on water, because he actually did have a couple steps. The lesson is that he consulted with Jesus, had the courage trusted him, and took those precious steps with total focus on him. He got his strength from Jesus. When he was sinking Jesus was right there to rescue him. So if you are drowning today, don't be afraid to ask for a doggie rescue. Our father in heaven will jump into get you any day.

For more encouragement on how to walk on water, read John Ortberg's book called "If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat." My women's bible study will be doing a study on this book in September. If you are interested in participating shoot me an email, we would love have you.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul

I have never really enjoyed reading until a few years ago. The dreaded multi-lined pages always seemed so intimidating and reminded me of high school English Literature class. For me, not such a fun experience. What I didn't realize, is that it is a neat way to get a different perspective on life. As I have been reading more and more I have begun a beautiful journey of self discovery and finding my place in the world.

John Eldridge the author of Wild at Heart and Captivating is very transparent and tackles some hard interesting truths about men and women. We are created differently with such a great purpose. As he uncovers these common misconceptions he connects it all back the to one who created us, Almighty God. Even though Wild at Heart is written for men, I am reading it not only to understand my husband and his needs, but how to raise a son or daughter. Every man has a longing in his heart for adventure, a desire to have a heroine to rescue, and get that one BIG question answered… “Do I have what it takes… am I man enough?” As a wife who longs to be the best supporter and encourager, this book has opened my eyes to how the church, society, and I can improve. Ladies if you are looking for a book that will encourage you on how you were wonderfully created and what that purpose maybe I would recommend John's book called Captivating. It is the coordinating book to this one

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Psalms 139:13-16

Be encouraged today…. you may not feel complete or wonderfully made, but friend, be encouraged that the truth will set you free. Reach out your hand to God for his hand has been waiting for yours since you were born. What are you waiting for, pick up The Bible the author is amazing!

Two, Three and Four

I had the pleasure of spending time with the Lopez family. They have a precious little girl and one on the way. Photography is a neat way for me to get to know different families and see the love they have for one another. Parents have such an amazing journey as they see their own grow each day into the people God designed them to be. God also uses this parental role to mold us and strengthen our relationship with him. His design for our life is purposeful and full of adventure. May we seek Him through out our lives and discover what unique gifts he has placed upon us to then bless others.

Monday, August 2, 2010

This weekend I had the opportunity to visit Mercer Arboretum and I was blessed with butterflies flying in the air. Their shades of yellow and blue just caught my eye and they way they dance as they fly from flower to flower is delightful. It made me think about how detailed and purposeful God is with his creation. Everything works together is such a precise way. His fingerprints are everywhere and it just makes my jaw drop. His most complex and amazing creation is YOU. Be reminded today that you are a work of art, created for a great purpose. Shine brightly and walk tall…. You are his!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Paleo Focused

Jake and I are continuing our fitness plan which includes changing our diet. Bayou City Crossfit encourages its athletes to change their eating habits to something more Paleo friendly. In a nutsell its eating similar to what the cave man used to eat. As you can see from the pyramid above it excludes diary and grains and increasing healthy fats such as olive oil, and avocado for strength training. We have been eating this way for the last 6 months and it has really been great. I have seen an increase of energy and a reduction in fat in my midsection and hips. This has been a very challenging area for me to loose. Don't get me wrong I enjoy a treat hear and there. I know this is not for everyone, but if you are looking to try something different, I recommend the Paleo Challenge. Try it for 90 days and see if you can tell a difference in the way you feel or look. You might surprise yourself!

Welcome Elizabeth Faith!

I had to post Elizabeth's birth announcement on my blog. She is so very precious and I really felt honored to create her announcement. Best wishes!

A day at the beach

A few weeks ago I enjoyed a wonderful Sunday afternoon with the Bilski family in Galveston. They are were looking forward to their new family addition. I have enjoyed seeing their family go from just to 2 to now 4. Best wishes to you all.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Spain Photos

I have posted all my photos on my shutterfly website, so send me an email if you are interested in viewing them.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I am now back from my wonderful 10 days in Spain. It was a trip to remember.... I am one who loves to take in all her environment: the people, the smells, the tastes, all the moments.

Day 1: was quit stressful and frustrating. The Houston to Paris flight was enjoyable even though I was packed tightly with the rest of my fellow sardines. Then things quickly changed when I missed my connection flight to Madrid due to the long lines going through customs and security. Trying to keep a smile on I proceeded to the booking counter to get on the next flight. As I was smiling to all that passed by me I was shocked that not one returned a smile (which I always understood a smile as the international peace and hello sign). Not a big deal now off to board the plane in Madrid. Anxious passengers began to shove their way through and quickly cut in line when one wasn't looking. I thought to myself this would not happen in the US, what is the big rush and quite bumping into me! Europeans don't really recognize what personal space is. They don't seem to mind being crammed close to one another. Once landing in Madrid I found out that I had missed my connection to Seville by about 30 minutes and the next flight wasn't until 10:45pm over 6 hours later. At this point I was struggling to keep a happy face. The local airline required me to purchase a new standby ticket since my delay was not account of their airline. Landing in Seville at 1am I was incredibly thankful to see my dad's familiar face there to greet me with a big hug.

Observations: Allow at least 2.5 hours between international connecting flights due to terminal distances and security. Europeans at the airport tend to be unfriendly and self-centered. Nothing like a big hug to close the end of a frustrating day.

Day 2-10: Amazing! The next day was much different. Walking around the small cobblestone streets had such history. Windows full of flowers and private court yards full of plants and trees. People sitting outside at the local cafes enjoying the local beer and tapas. The delicious aromas of papa frit and olive oil and the sound of laughter fills the streets. Many popular dishes included local Iberian ham sandwiches, paella, fried seafood and croquettes. There were many royal palaces throughout the region with a Moorish influence as well as many cathedrals. I was shocked and in awe of the detail on the buildings and palaces. The ceilings were each uniquely decorated with different materials such as porcelain tile, wood, gold, marble and stucco type material. The outdoor community plazas and gardens were just breath taking. With most people live in small apartments, so these precious gardens give people a place to relax, walk their dogs and enjoy the fresh air. Most people walk or ride their bikes to get around old town Seville. There is a rush of people through out the day except for their afternoon nap at 3pm. Dinner doesn't start until about 9pm so many people enjoy a few drinks and little tapas which are smaller than our appetisers. Their rich culture was inspiring. I did go see a Flamenco dancing show which is full of passion and flair. My father describes the men as peacocks who love to strut their stuff, which was very apparent in this dance. Bull fighting is something that is a big part of Spain's history and culture, which I chose not to experience due to the treatment of the bull. Most times the bull is killed at the end of the show with spears. I probably walked about 4-6 miles each day and took over 600 photos!

I hope to upload the photos of my travels this week. I need to sort through them and share with you the best ones. Even though I had an amazing trip I am happy to be home. I missed my love so much. He helped make this trip possible and I am so very grateful. Thank you to my friends and family for their prayers. I never once felt like I was in danger exploring the city by myself during the day.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring in Houston, Texas

Spring is in full bloom in our southern state. Out with the damp chill humid days and into the gorgeous low humid 70's and 80's. This is my favorite time of Houston's climate change. No longer running from air conditioned room to air conditioned car. Get those jogging shoes out and enjoy this gift from the Lord! Houston does have a beauty all its own and it is beautiful when you seek it out. Below are some photos I took in April before a photo shoot I had. Just think how many colors God has in his paint bucket. The hues and the patterns are lovely. Even the insects have their own special markings. I hope that you enjoy God's creation where ever you may be. You never know when lady bug or butterfly may pass by.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Moments that Change your Heart

My best friend Brittney and her husband Ryan have had the most amazing year. They have celebrated new beginnings with their son Micah. This little guy is such a joyful baby... he is so observant and laughs with the most precious crinkle in his little nose. He has the ablity to make you feel so incredibley special when he smiles. I thank you Lord, for crossing my path with Brittney's. My life will never be the same. The Toliver Family will always have a place in my heart.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Most of you know I workout at Bayou City Crossfit with my friend Katherine and my trainer Katie. We have been working on strength conditioning and the kip pull up. Last Friday I met a specific goal I have been working on for about 6 months. Major progress, I was able to do 3 kipping pull ups in a row with out the assistance of a resistance band! That was such a victory for me, since I have struggled with upper body strength since my younger years working on project with my dad.

Wow.... it is amazing what sweat and tears will transform into.

A saying that is often said at Bayou City Crossfit which I totally identify with is.... Love/Hate Relationship and That was horrible, when can I come back for more.

A BIG thank you to Katie and Katherine, for encouraging when didn't think I could struggle through another round of pull ups.

P.S. Crossfit is having a self-defense class this Saturday for ladies. Let me know if you are interested in, I will be there.

Goals and Change

I am very excited to see what changes are ahead of me. This year I have many goals in the back of my mind that I would like achieve before year end. By posting them to my blog I hope to get the accountability I need to keep me moving forward.

1. Bible in 90 Days Program
My Tuesday morning bible study group have been working through the bible to read the entire thing in 90 days. This has proved to be a challenging but rewarding endeavour. By reading 12 pages each day we should be complete by the second week in May.

2. Healthy Body
The last three years I have been focused on being slim and trim, but the last 6+ months I have changed my focus to being healthy. There is a big difference. I am putting my focus on both the food I am putting into my body and the fitness training. Food includes fresh fruit & vegetables, meats and nuts (Paleo Menu). Fitness training includes both cardio and strength training. CONSISTENCY is the real challenge, so my goal is the have 4-5 fitness sessions eat week. Jake and I plan to have our first child next year (God willing) and a healthy body is the best thing that will help with any implications from my scoliosis.

3. Family Cookbook
Cooking has always played such an important role in my family history. With my both sides of my family being from such countries as France, Italy, Germany and Sweden there are some amazing recipes to be shared. I would love to preserve these recipes into a cookbook so that my future children and my nephews will always have this to pass down. So far I have over 100 recipes that need to be reviewed and photographed. The big challenge is cooking each dish so that I may have a photograph. As this endeavor is great, I will be cutting back my portrait and outdoor photography this year.

A big thank you to all my family and friends that are praying for me and encouraging me as I boldly step out. It is with great excitement I share these posts of progress and challenge.