Friday, April 7, 2017

Intro to Lettering In-Home Class

For the past few weeks, I've been working on something new and exciting! It's an introduction to lettering class and I'm super excited about it!

This in-home class is for 4-10 people interested in learning the basic techniques of brush and pen lettering. Each class will be 90 minutes. During that time, we’ll go over how to hold the brush and pen, basic strokes, letter forms, and lettering with watercolors. We will also work on creating a final brush lettering piece based on a template.

I'll share with you the basic tips and tricks I've learned through my hours of practice, research and instagram stalking. Using a brush pen, we'll learn the basic strokes, uppercase and lowercase letters and then practice forming words.

Then we'll do the same with a brush. Along with learning how to hold the brush, we'll review some basic techniques for controlling the watercolors to achieve that perfect ombre 😍

At the end of the class, you will leave with:
— 37pg. packet of practice sheets + pdf download
— brush pen
— #1 round brush
— pencil
— final watercolor piece, "home sweet home"

You guessed it, this is another adoption fundraiser! All of the proceeds will go right to the adoption fund. With every party, I get closer and closer to bringing my baby home.

4 people: $40 per person
6 people: $35 per person
8 people or more: $30 per person

If you are interested in hosting a class, email me at and we'll get it on the calendar! If you have my cell, feel free to text or call. I can do weeknights or weekends - whatever works for you.

If you aren't sure where I live - email me! I don't really want to publish that online 😉  but I'll give you a hint - I'm in southeastern PA.

For those of you that are far away and wondering...
At this time, the packet is not available online. I want to test it on a few guinea pigs before putting it online. I need to make sure it makes sense since I won't be there to walk you through it. I'll be able to do that best when I have some fresh eyes on it. An online version is in the works, so keep your eyes peeled!

Thank you for your continual and unwavering support for this adoption.
I can't even begin to tell you how much it means to me ❤️


Monday, April 3, 2017

Balla Family Adoption Fundraiser


I will be holding family photo sessions as an adoption fundraiser to benefit my dear friend, Tara, and her husband, Brent. The photo sessions will take place on May 13th at Hibernia Park in Coatesville. These sessions are a wonderful opportunity to update the family portrait for a perfect Mother's Day present. It can be the whole family or just the kids. It's all up to you!

Here's what you need to know:

First and foremost, all of the money raised through these family photo sessions will be going right to Tara & Brent for their adoption fund.

The cost for each session is $125 and you will receive as many high resolution, edited digital photos as we can get! Each photo will be edited in color and black & white. Images will be sent out within 1 week of the photoshoot.

All sessions will take place in the same location - a beautiful park in Coatesville, PA. The perfect backdrop for this spring season! Feel free to bring props!

1 hour time slots are available from 9am-4pm. 
Rain date is May 20th.

To secure your time slot and coordinate payment, email Tara at

We hope to see you there!

Below are some examples of family sessions I've done in the past:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Trade of Hope Fundraiser

On March 20th, a woman from my church is hosting a Trades of Hope party to benefit my adoption.
Beth-Anne, from Trades of Hope, will be selling jewelry, handbags, scarves & more that are ethically produced & created using Fair Trade principles by women around the world. Their mission is to empower women in poverty by marketing their creations.

Beth-Anne is generously donating all of the proceeds to my adoption fund.

We’d love for you to join us at the Bicentennial in West Reading at 7pm. Everything is better with food, so there will be snacks!

If you cannot join us, but wish to contribute – visit the website below to view the beautiful items & place orders.

Thank you for the continual support for this adoption! ❤️


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Adoption Update: December 2016

It's hard to believe that 2016 is almost over. This year has been crazy for many good and many hard reasons, but it's been the best year of my life. New Year's Eve doesn't usually hold a lot of interest for me. I celebrate by laying in bed with Charlie and watching tv (the same thing I do every night). I kiss my pup at midnight and then we go to bed.

But this year is different. I may celebrate in the same, simple way, but there will be something different about this New Year's Eve. 2016 was an amazing year and I never want to forget a single moment, but 2017 could be the year I bring my baby home. There's no guarantee. There's no sure way of knowing, but there's hope - so much hope.

I haven't given an update in awhile - so allow me to catch you up (spoiler alert - I am still waiting):

The nursery is ready (minus that window that I still need to paint). Little bits of nesting continue to happen, but there's not much to be done now. Everything that's left can and will wait until I'm matched and bringing a baby home.

Early in the adoption process, I read a lot of blog posts of women telling how important the nursery was for them in the long months of waiting. A few months ago, I thought that it would just be harder to have it ready while waiting, but this room has been very good for me. Sometimes I just sit on that ottoman and pray or I stand in the doorway and imagine the day that I get to really use this room.

I hope that this wait will make the less pretty days a little easier - when this room full of dirty laundry, smelly diapers, a crying baby... when I'm wishing God didn't ask me to do this alone. I hope on those days I can clearly remember how it feels to stand in the doorway praying for this baby all the while knowing with absolute certainty that I am following God's plan for my life.

Fundraising was a tough job for me to step into. I'm in no way gifted in this area, but I've seen time and time again how God provides when we step out in faith. In four short months, you all have helped me raise 41% of my goal and that just blows me away. The generosity and love that has poured out from my family, friends and community is an incredible gift. I've still got a ways to go, but I couldn't be more thankful for how far I've come in this fundraising process.

Waiting is still something I am trying to understand. I've officially been waiting for 3 months and it seems each new month brings new challenges. Month One was about getting used to waiting and learning how to handle all of the emotions that come with this process (that was an exhausting month). Month Two was all about being ready, feeling ready, feeling like it needed to happen right now and I couldn't wait a minute longer (another stellar month).

But Month Three was the hardest so far. It was all sinking in that this process could take years - that I might have to stop counting in months and start counting in years. But in a small way, I feel like I get it now - I know how to handle this new normal. This month had some really deep valleys for me that were hard to come out of. Valleys that I couldn't make better, but I just had to survive. I've learned that while that is not fun, it's not bad either. Not every hard thing needs fixing, sometimes you just survive and that's good enough.

This will come as no surprise, but I'm going to say it anyway - waiting is hard, waiting sucks, waiting is exhausting. But as much as I don't want to admit it, waiting is necessary. I wish I could fully explain why it's necessary, but I'm not sure how. I just know that it's been necessary for me. I've been fighting battles over the past 3 months that I've needed to fight to build my strength and faith.

I've needed to submit my profile and not get picked so I could learned to love a child and mother that I have never and will never meet - and to learn that it's ok to give your love and not have it returned. It's taught me to pray and love deeply, no matter how hard it is when I'm not chosen. I've learned that I can't truly open myself up to love if I can't open myself up to pain.

But as always - in the midst of everything hard, there is God. Even when I've been more than frustrated with him, praying whiny prayers and feeling so lost, He's showing me that not only is he making this path - He is walking it with me.

I bought that little penguin a few weeks ago. It's the baby's very first Christmas present. They may not exist in this world yet, but they are so very real in my heart.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

New Christmas Prints - Adoption Fundraiser

The Christmas season has always been my favorite. I love having my home decorated for this special time of year. It may take me several slow days to put all of the decorations up, but in the end it's always worth it (which I need to remember when cleaning it all up takes forever).

I added several Christmas prints to my etsy shop. I loved working on these. They were so fun to design and create. Plus, they definitely got me into the Christmas spirit!

As always - every penny goes to the adoption fund ❤️