Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better!

I was 17, walking from the girls bathroom to my Geology class during passing period.  I had an extra spring in my step that day – I looked so cute!  I’ll never forget the grey shirt with black velvety stripes, the black pleated skirt ala Britney Spears coupled with my new patterned opaque tights and Mary Jane shoes.  I spotted a couple of girls at their lockers looking as cute as me; but my boobs were bigger and my waist smaller and I thought to myself, “I look way better!” No sooner was I seated at my lab table then the Swedish exchange student walked over to me and said, “Kala…” he didn't have to finish his sentence.  I knew immediately that I had walked down the hallway with my skirt tucked into the back of my tights and I was completely mortified!  As a teenager I cringed at the event, as an adult I realize the lesson I was being taught.  I wasn't better.

“Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” Galatians 5:26 (New Living Translation)

More and more employers have put an emphasis on teamwork in the workplace, leaving little room for those who do not play nice with others.  I recently transferred into and new job and replaced someone who was great.  While it’s easier to find the things that he did poorly and showcase MY strengths, the real challenge is focusing on his wins and reminding myself that I am building upon that.

My way, his way… neither is better or worse.  We lead differently plain and simple, we have a different approach to business, training and communication.  I'm certain that I will be able to take my job to another level, I am also certain that a great leader can step away to let another shine; and for that I'm grateful for this chance.

“Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others.  Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”  Philippians 2:3 (New Living Translation)

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for the talents you have given me.  Help me to recognize when I am being selfish and when I’m frustrated, show me the bigger picture so that I can move on.

Live, Laugh, Love...

I woke up one morning in July of 2012 and decided I was no longer happy with my job.  While I loved the people that I was working with, the tasks I was completing each day filled me with no joy.  There was no excitement; my professional life was stagnant.  It was then I realized I was much too young to be having these feelings.  In my head I had 3 choices; stick it out and be miserable, find a new job in a new company, or relocate to our company headquarters in California.


"So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life.  That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun."  Ecclesiastes 8:15 (New Living Translation)


"So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while."  1 Peter 1:6  (New Living Translation)


"Three things will last forever: faith, hope, and love.  The greatest of these is love."  1 Corinthians 13:13  (New Living Translation)

After much prayer and discussion, my husband & I have decided to LIVE.  I was offered and accepted a job at my corporate office in California.  I've moved ahead of them which isn't nearly as easy as I thought it would be.  A small price to pay; we'll all be together again soon and I can't wait.  Until then, I'm entertained nightly by my family via Facetime, they are a LAUGH a minute!  All of these things are made possible for me because I believe in a God who grants the desires of our hearts and because I have a husband who LOVES me enough to follow me to another new city, and be both Mother & Father to our daughter while I pursue new opportunities for my career.

STOPLIGHT PRAYER:  Father in Heaven, thank you giving me life and for guiding me through it.  Thank you for making your will for my life the desire of my heart and for guiding me through life.  Help me to listen for your voice amidst the static that tries to throw me off course.

My Family This is my beautiful family.  I love them for supporting me in everything I do and can't wait to start this new adventure with them.

Square Earth Studio: Introducing Maryna Marston

I was terrified of my grandparent’s basement. It was cold and damp, and smelled like dirt. Nestled in the corner at the bottom of the stairs was a spooky closet. I dreaded being sent down there. Perhaps the thing that unnerved me most was the black and white portraits of my steely-eyed ancestors that hung on every wall. How could I be related to these people? My mother said we were lucky to have those pictures. I never understood. Photography has come a long way from the historical record of my family tree to the limitless art form we know today.

Created Woman would like to introduce you to one of Austin’s premier fashion photographers. Maryna Marston was born in Ukraine. Her mother introduced her to photography and used their bathroom as a darkroom. She experienced broad exposure to various art forms in her early education and enjoyed drawing, painting and sculpture. In those formative years she cultivated an excellent eye for framing and composition.

Maryna never considered photography a career option. Her family guided her toward a business degree. She graduated in 2005 with her Masters in International Business Management from Kyiv National Economic University. It wasn’t until she moved with her husband Justin to the US that she was free to pursue life as an artist. She was looking at the banking industry when Justin intervened and said “Maryna, you are one of the lucky people who can pick anything they want to do in life. What would you love to do? What are you passionate about?”

Maryna reflected on their days in London. Armed with her 3 megapixel Canon digital camera, she became the photo journalist for her family and friends. She never expected people to enjoy her photos as much as they did. She also remembered her experience with a London modeling agency, being treated like a beautiful girl with no brain. She swore if she ever went back to the fashion industry she would be on the other side of the lens. A designer friend introduced her to the work of fashion photography pioneer Richard Avedon and modern legend David LaChappelle. Finally the artist of her youth found expression.

She enrolled in photography classes and met business partner Marco Gutierrez. They challenged each other to new levels of creativity and have earned a collection of prestigious awards. Together they opened Square Earth Studio in June of 2012 specializing in fashion, editorial and product photography. Unlike those first photographers who wandered onto my great-great-grandparents farm, their goal is not to simply capture an image but to create art with each image they capture. Be watching for their work right here at Created Woman and in our digital version available at

Read about Square Earth Studio's co-owner, Marco Here



Lynn Marie Cherry has a heart to encourage women towards freedom and plant seeds of hope. She enjoys sharing insight from God’s word and the world around her. She has been married for almost 20 years to the same great guy, they have two amazing boys. You can read more at


When I Was Young

  When I was a little girl my Dad would pick me up from ballet and take me to Baskin Robbins every week.  He sat in a big swivel chair and I sat right next to him in a kid size chair eating my daiquiri ice sorbet with a tasting spoon.  It was sour, not alcoholic and boy was it tasty.  I remember him brushing my hair, putting it up into pigtails and braiding them.  My hair, always adorned with the hand painted hair ribbons he made for me.  My favorite memory is singing show tunes with him in the kitchen, me singing the part of Annie and my Dad singing the lines of Daddy Warbucks.  “I don’t need anything but you,” we would sing together.

I can’t say that my Father is a man of many words.  Perhaps it comes from growing up with 3 sisters, or perhaps it’s 35 years of living with my Mom and 2 daughters.  That being said, when he does share nuggets or stories I listen.

A stubborn fool despises his father's discipline, but whoever appreciates a warning shows good sense.  Proverbs 15:5  (GOD'S WORD® Translation)

Despite the relationship you have with your father it’s important to understand that his life experiences are things you can learn from.  Sometimes you learn what you should be doing and sometimes you learn to walk in the opposite direction.

Each June we have the opportunity to celebrate and honor our fathers.  Take the time to truly honor both your earthly and heavenly fathers.  This is one seed you want to plant.  I believe I’m reaping my harvest now, I see it every week when my husband takes our daughter out on a daddy /daughter date to Starbucks and Toys R Us.

One of the greatest things my father said to me, while broken hearted in my early twenties, was, “Honey, if he doesn’t like you then he must be gay.”  You see, not all nuggets of wisdom have to be so serious!  I’m tucking that one away for my own daughter… when she’s 25!

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in heaven thank you for my Father & Husband.  Help me to find ways to continue to honor them even when they are difficult and make me want to scream.  Please continue to guide & protect them and they continue to do the same for us.

Purse & Clutch, leaving a Fingerprint

The very best thing about a handbag: When a girl  puts on a few pounds, a handbag can give her a "pick me up" because it doesn't reflect what that silly old bathroom scale says. Purse & Clutch, an online boutique  has plenty of bags to choose from and they speak loudly about who they are and what they're about. Owner and Operator, Jen Ardill created her business to be a conduit, connecting artisans who might otherwise not earn a living wage to Western consumers, looking for beauty, style and quality.

Featured are the Classic, A-Line and Button Clutch. Each bag is made of cotton that

is carded, spun and woven by hand. Currently, all products are made in India.

Fabric designs range from classic to whimsical to contemporary and colors include earthy hues of  mustard and brown,  neutrals plum and red and then beautiful bright spots of blue that would get many a girl to "get her spring on."

Scarves and table runners are also available.

Fabrics are block printed in local shops, lined in a cooperative for those affected with leprosy and stitched together at a vocational training center for battered and abused women. Each step in the development of these products creates jobs, jobs and more jobs.

In the 1800's, women spent a great deal of time embroidering their handbags, showing them off for potential husbands. This kind of detail is not a lost art @ Purse & Clutch. The exquisite detail appeals to the fashion forward consumer in the Western hemisphere, which ultimately creates independence for our less fortunate global brothers and sisters.

Every fashion season brings new and fresh fabric designs with it. Each item is unique and once sold, cannot be found again.

Jen is a woman who is leaving her Fingerprint in other women's lives.Add to your wardrobe @  Purse & Clutch . Make it a part of  your list of online  favorites and join Jen as a supportive member of a global community.

Jen Ardill-Person style;I like to focus on classic shapes and surprising color combinations.

Inspiration;I am inspired by the desire to be resourceful and enjoying finding new uses for clothes that have been in my closet for years. I am also inspired by the creativity of my dear friend Stephanie Press from Hold Vintage ( She inspires me to be bold and try new clothing pairings.

Whistle While You Work

As far as I can tell and as much as I hate to admit it, I'm a cliche. I'm a 20-something year old who's fresh out of college and trying to ''figure out my life". I thought that once I finished school last year, I'd quickly find a fun job that I loved and....I don't know. I guess I thought I'd be starting the "rest of my life". What I ended up doing was getting fired from my part-time student job, sending out 50 resumes with no responses, and accepted a job working for my husband's family business. It wasn't exactly the destination I had in mind while in school. While whining on my mom's shoulder recently, she said, "Life's  a roller-coaster and that's what you do at your age. You fumble around a bit and try to figure things out. You have to wait to see where life takes you." It's an uncomfortable place to be in for someone who loves preparation and planning. I mean, really, is there any way to plan for waiting?

The temptation that comes along when you're not exactly where you want to be in life is to not give 100% of yourself to your every day comings and goings. For example, maybe you really dislike your job so you decide that you don't have to work as hard at it. Maybe you dislike your co-workers who never do their share of work so you find yourself wondering, "Why should I do as much work as I'm doing if they slack off?"

At my last job, I realized my thoughts were going this direction and I wanted to nip it in the butt. I decided I always want to do my best because God is always watching. I decided that I always want to aim at pleasing Him.

"From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,     and the work of their hands brings them reward." -Proverbs 12: 14

If you're in a season of life and just wanting to move on to the next season, you may be missing valuable teachings. Maybe God's trying to teach us to honor people to the best of our abilities even when we're not exactly happy with where we are. Maybe He's trying to teach us faithfulness. Whatever He's doing, don't miss out on His wisdom just because you only have eyes for the next season of your life. Learn how to 'whistle while you work'! And commit to being the best person you can be in whatever path you're on right now!

New Beginnings; CW launches into 2012

May 2012 will mark the 2-year anniversary of Created Woman Blogazine!  It’s seems like only yesterday the team was sitting around a table, excited with anticipation and wondering what would become of CW.  Our passion was just simply Women; single girls, fashionistas, CEO's, mommies or adventurous - we love them all! It was definitely a leap of faith that was so exciting and so scary, all at the same time.  But that’s what happens when you begin to step into your destiny, becoming who you were created to be. To me, that’s what resolutions should be about every year; making a promise to be the woman you were created to be, both inside and out, and carving out the steps to get there.

As we step into 2012, we wanted to share some of the ways we plan to stay the course for 2012 in our own personal lives.  We hope, too, that as we grow at CW, you’ll continue to share your life with us. We hope to watch as you reach new heights, begin new journeys, and continue to down the path of becoming all the you were created to be!


Nadia began as our bride-to-be last year and now, as a newlywed, her writing marries fashion with outreach. She's  showing us how we can be stylish and socially aware at the same time.

“My resolutions are to love better, to budget wisely, and to travel more!”

Martha has always been a writer with a passion to educate.  From her Saturday morning devotionals to her passion for the world around us, Martha teaches us so many lessons in each article.

“I have a dream of being accepted by a publisher to publish my first book”

Nichole  is a recent graduate of the University of Texas and is embarking on a new season of life. She'll be starting as an English teacher in the fall and will continue sharing her journey with our CW readers.

"I want to be better at quality time with people and remembering birthdays. I want to travel to a new city,  start taking Pure Barre classes, and read at least one book a week. Oh, and be a GREAT teacher!"

Cheryl is a diverse writer for CW. From fashion, to outreach, to food,  she's a phenomenal speaker who covers it all.  Her life experiences show just what it means to live out who you were created to be and inspires those around her to do the same through her ministry Mosaic Life Network.  Cheryl is a friend who always launches dreams!

“I would like to engage with family and close friends on a deeper level.  Rich conversations, sending cards and significant moments are important to me.  Life happens so fast, at times, I tend to operate in task mode - I plan on slowing down and taking delight in those special moments.”

Coby is a hairstylist who understands that the uniqueness of each woman must shine through, from hair to toe.  Coby’s own unique style of writing comes through in every article like a cheer spurring us on to new heights in our relationships and life journeys.

“I want to trust that I am capable, God is faithful and the best is yet to come.”

Crystal is CW's source for living well.  Launching her brand new business this year, Your Fitness Designer, Crystal has shared her 20 years of experience in the health and wellness field.  She is living out who she's created to be and keeps things simple this year, outside of building a business.

"This year, I want to add yoga into my workouts once a week"

Yvonne leaves her fingerprint wherever she goes!  As our first published author of Fingerprint: Uniquely Marked for  Purpose, she leads our Saturday morning devotional team, leaves our mouth watering on so many Monday Meals, and has a passion to honor women who are living out their destiny.  Thanks for your Fingerprint!

“This year I plan to love my family best by taking care of myself emotionally, spiritually and physically.”

Kala, just like her mother Yvonne, crafts her life experiences into simple, 'easy to relate to' nuggets of inspirations that are life changing.  She just published her first Monday Meal as well and we can’t wait to steal some of her kitchen masterpieces.

“This year I plan on taking time to make new friends and keep the ones I already have.  No more excuses!  I also want to learn French, but that might have to wait until 2013.”

Jessica is another girl who has so many talents; she’s the girl that can do anything!  Fashion, Health, cupcakes and more…this girl will keep anyone on their toes and is the kind of friend everyone should have.

“Looking at my schedule for the coming year with working full-time, a hard-core school load, and making time family my 'resolution' list is not nearly as long as it usually is...and that's ok with me. Some things just have to wait for other, more important ones.  Love Jesus - Laugh a lot - Get enough sleep.”

Heather- As the founder of Created Woman and a new mom, my life is full of many joys.  My resolutions for 2012 are to continue bringing you amazing, talented women to share their lives with you; to enjoy all the special moments with my little girl, Hadley; to never stop taking pictures of her; and to find the best shoes to wear at the best prices!

Thanks for being a part of Created Woman, a fashion blog that highlights family, health, fun and personal living!

Planning for the future at CW

"I'll Have What She's Having"

I began working for my current employer at the age of 18, my first job out of high school.  I earned my first promotion at the age of 19 leading people who were 1 – my parents’ age and 2 – multi year veterans with the company I had been with for only a year.  Going from peer to leader in the same building was a unique challenge.  I studied the management binders in the office, could quote polices and section numbers, and above all used the leadership skills God had given me to continue to excel in my job. I was the youngest supervisor in a 150-mile radius and there were some people who didn’t let me forget it.  No one left baby food on my desk, although I’m sure it crossed a few minds, it was the attitudes, tones and eye rolls that said it all and frankly, it was hurtful.

Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.  1 Timothy 4:12 (New American Standard Bible)

Remember when you’re hired by a business it’s because they see something special in you.  You have a skill, quality or trait that they want to incorporate into their business.  Be open to learn from your new co-workers who come from so many different backgrounds.  If you’ve been hired to be the new boss, treat people with respect and show them God’s love in your every day managing of the business.

Young or experienced, when you are exuding Godly qualities, it is tough for people not to be drawn to you.  As Christians we are called to be good role models and with the media romanticizing sex tapes, gossip and girls behaving badly we have our work cut out for us. 

Our goal should be for people to say, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in heaven thank you for giving me the opportunity to show your love and faithfulness.  Help me to lead by example and not fall into the traps set our enemy.

Still hungry?  Learn a lesson from Jesus in John 13:12- 15.

Money, Lies and Profit

Often I hear women who own/operate small businesses make statements such as, "It is not the money that we are about."  The bible states clearly, "The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (1 Timothy 6:10) God warns us about falling in love with anything that may distract from or tear down our relationship with Him. If you operate a business,  sell a product/service and are apologetic about making money, you are not a threat to the enemy in this area. If anything, he's won you over in this because he knows that you believe his lies and if you never make a concerted effort at making a profit, your business will have little, if any monetary impact on the Kingdom. He has a checklist of what your business will never accomplish and here is a sample of what Mr. Ugly's list looks like:

  • Her offering to that ministry she supports in will never be more than $100 a month. Yay!
  • Great! There's a cap on what she can give to the campus minister  who disciples college students.
  • Awesome. The women's clinic in Uganda; excited because it will take longer to build.
  • Oh, and that family that needs another $10K to adopt the Down's Syndrome baby, she can't make a dent.

If you run a business, any kind of business,

making a profit should be at the forefront of your objectives. In the absence of a focus on profit, what you have is a hobby not a business. Businesses make money. Hobbies cost money.

As women, there is a tendency to apologize or dismiss the impact of making money. We are by nature, nurturers, so some women believe that by focusing on making money, a contradiction exists that we cannot be caring, loving, generous if we have an intentional focus on making money. Having a profitable business does involve sometimes saying no to friends, raising prices, etc. and therein lies a conflict that we prefer not to deal with. Ugh. This is stinkin' thinkin' ladies.

Examine the monetary goals of your business, ask God to redirect your thoughts about money and entrepreneurship, and get your name off Mr. Ugly's checklist.

Business Building Tip- Put the Hurdles Out First

This is a business practice that I refer to as "Putting the Hurdles Out First". When working through a business transaction, rather than wait for obstacles to be brought up in the eleventh hour, draft a list of reasons early on as to why it might not work, what could go wrong or what reservations you or the other party might have:

  • Consider the potential deal breakers
  • Develop a list
  • Dismantle the hurdles by talking through them with the other party
  • Start the race to your desired outcome

Think through and confront challenges earlier than later.

 If you are in a leadership role, you will need to learn to have conversations around things that may cause you or others discomfort. Not only will it be necessary to have such conversations, learn to initiate them.

Whether you sell a product or service, are leasing a space to start your own business, or are negotiating for your next job, practice clearing the track. It is better that you see hurdles early and disassemble them, than to have them show up later and trip you up on your road to success.