Hi Bethany! Please introduce yourself to the GoatNotes Readers:
I'm 28 and married to my best friend. I've been a wife for 6 years and am a mother of two boys, Elijah (3) and Lazarus (18 mo). My husband is a seminarian, studying to teach theology over seas. We love getting to know new people and new places. I'm a thrift-aholic and can't live without my Burt's Bees chap stick. My dream girl's night out would be hanging at a karaoke bar with Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig.
How did you start your Etsy Shop/Blog? And how did that cute name City Tthistle come about?
I needed a project and jewelry was something I had dabbled in before. I'm the type of person that goes all the way when I start something new. I jump all in. My younger sister helped me come up with the name City Thistle. I needed a way to describe myself without writing a novel. I grew up in the boonies, but I love walking to my grocery store. I have an eye for design and enjoy fashion, but I want to live in Africa where things are more rustic. As well, my jewelry style is a marriage between my two personalities-rustic modern, or better said-City Thistle.
Where do you blog and create?
I make jewelry at my dining room table. I love being able to spread everything out! I stay up way too late blogging in my bed. It's a bat habit I'd like to change some day, but for now, it works.
Also, talking about your blog, why do you blog?
I began blogging (over at Robbins Abroad) when my husband and I moved to Malawi 5 years ago. It was the easiest way to update friends and family, so long as we had electricity! Still In St Louis is how I am able to keep in touch with our dear friends back in Africa. It's where I promote my Etsy shop City Thistle and is also a platform for issues concerning living on a tight budget and women's health care in childbirth. It's also where I vent :)
What is your favorite material to work with when you are creating?
I don't sell sewn crafts in my shop, but fabric is actually my favorite material to work with. So many possibilities with endless choices of color and patterns! I need a little more experience with my dear sewing machine before I put any work out there.
Tell us more about being a Doula. How did you end up studying to be Doula?
My mom has been a midwife for more than 15 years. I grew up learning about natural childbirth and respecting the female body's ability to produce life. My mom delivered both of my boys at home and I treasure those experiences. Last year, I attended a birth as a friend and realized how useful it would have been had I been trained as a doula. I immediately set out to get certified by DONA so that I could better help and support my dear friends and neighbors to make healthier choices for their families in childbirth. I love advocating for women and being there in the final moments when they learn how strong they truly are through birth. Every time I go to work, I celebrate someone's birthday!
It sounds like you have gotten to live all over the country/world. Do you have a favorite place you have lived? Where do you see/hope to see your family living in the future?
I count down the days until we return to Africa. Life is simple, yet full of community and love. My family thrives on African soil. My dream home would be near the water in Capetown, SA. It's the perfect mix of African and urban. I'd also love to live on the coast of West Africa. The culture, heat and French language is what draws me there. We've got one more year in seminary, so we are definitely in the 'planning for our future' stage right now. Elijah and I are both hoping we end up in Africa!
You seem to have an eye for nifty-thrifty finds, what is one thrifting tip you can share?
Go often and with few expectations. If I've got 15 minutes to spare, I run into a Goodwill and quickly browse the housewares section. Usually, I'm not looking for anything in particular. Just that one unique item that surprises me is what makes it worth it.
What is your favorite healthy and easy dinner you and your family enjoy?
Zucchini, Black Bean and Rise Skillet! We always have left over veggies on hand and this is super easy. My secret? I throw in a small bag of fully cooked brown rice from Trader Joe's instead of cooking my own. Cuts down on dishes and time. We often eat it with tortilla chips, sour cream and avocado.
Where do you turn to when you need inspiration?
I look through pictures from our past travels. Between different cities in the US, France, Peru, various countries in Africa-they each have colors and textures unique to them. I draw inspiration from each of the places I've called home.
Thank you Bethany for sharing a little about yourself and your life with GoatNotes. Please make sure to take a moment and check out Bethany's shop . You can also read about her daily adventures on her blog.