Real Person Real Story

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This time we have real story from Justine we want to thank her for accepting to sharing her story bravely with everyone and her story is about everybody and everyday life learning. Again and again thought us if you want and keep working for something you need to change or you need to accept it you have to be brave no matter how much you have to put on it and  keep going in the direction that feels right just for you, not anyone else. We have to learn this greatness so be BRAVE!

I don’t need to say much more here is her story starts.

STORY

My name is Justine Brooks Froelker. In February 2011, my husband and I began our journey in the world of IVF. Gestational surrogacy was the safest way for us to have our children since I had two back surgeries in high school (including a year of my life spent in a body cast).  IVF and 3 babies never to be born later, Ever Upward is conceived. After much mourning, confusion, anger and sadness, I got back up and started doing the work. The work to redefine; my life, myself, everything.

 MESSAGE

A big part of this journey has been telling my story, and ultimately educating people on how difficult, expensive and painful IVF can be and that sometimes you just don’t get the joy of motherhood from it. And telling my story to model, because we need to talk about it! And that yes, sometimes it is okay to say no more.  And even more, it is okay to say adoption isn’t for you. And that after the work, you can take the step forward into a fulfilled childfree, yet childfull, life and stop being stuck in the childless life, even in this, our child obsessed world. But, mostly we must talk about it in order to embrace it all and practice our recoveries. Because only then will we own it all and find our ever upward.

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OUR STORY

Ever Upward is not the typical infertility book and blog filled with follicle counts, Clomid crazy train side effects and recounts of painful procedures. It is filled with struggle, hope and recovery, it is a blog about life. Ever Upward is my story, and yet every couple’s story; parent or not, because behind the wall of silence, shame, the smile, and the ‘I can do everything’ attitude lies millions of people suffering in silence with the pain of infertility and recovery. And yet our connection to our stories, is the only way back to the truth of who we are, to own ourselves again.

PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator (based on the research of Brené Brown) with a private practice in St. Louis, Missouri. For the last 15 years I’ve worked with clients using a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy in a straight-forward and non-shaming approach to create a safe space for clients to address concerns. I have extensive experience working with all ages on such concerns as anxiety, depression, relationships, infertility, addictions, perfectionism, eating and weight issues and common discontent.

In addition to my private practice, I am an adjunct faculty member at Saint Louis Community College, where I teach General Psychology. Additionally, I write as an expert therapist for the monthly publication St. Louis Health & Wellness Magazine. I also can be seen regularly on the St. Louis KMOV live midday show, Great Day St. Louis.

Ever Upward is about figuring out what to do with our lives when they didn’t turn out how we hoped. Ever Upward is the fight for and the practice of our recovery. It is my own battle and fight every day and part of this is helping others to see their way out of the dark. The Daring Way™ is a highly experiential methodology based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown. The method was developed to help men, women and adolescents learn how to show up, be seen and live braver lives. The primary focus is on developing shame resilience skills and developing a courage practice that transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead. It can be facilitated in clinical, educational and professional settings and is suitable for work with individuals, couples families, work teams and organization leaders. I work with clients through the curriculum in individual sessions or small group intensives.

Justine Froelker, MEd, LPC
JBF Therapy & Coaching

314.283.6264
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Weekend Cooking: Stuffed Stuff

Love weekends when we can fully relax and cook savory cozy meals that speak to the soul and heart.

This is a favorite dish especially for cold winter nights. Yet so easy to make, but sure to delight the senses.
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Ingredients:
2 small yellow peppers
Couple medium sized zucchinis
4-5 medium sized firm tomatoes
1 lb Organic ground beef
1 cup of Organic jasmine rice
3 cloves of fresh pressed garlic
Salt
Olive oil
Black pepper
Red pepper
All spice
Crumbled feta for the top

Was the veggies and hollow them out. Careful not slice your hands open or cut through the veggies. You need both 😉 to enjoy this meal. Using a small melon baller might help, but I use a nice small sharp knife. Goal is to hollow the veggies without damaging the shell that will keep the stuffing.

Put hollowed veggies in a container of water and salt mixture (brine) while you mix up the stuffing.
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Best beef for this is organic and semi fat. Don’t go lean – the dish with be way too dry and tasteless. For vegetarians; omit the beef and use a coarse chop of the hollowed out innards, add mushrooms and viola! Turn the oven on to 475 degrees and get your baking dish ready.

Mix up the beef with spices, rice, and pressed garlic. Use as much spices to your liking and diet. Drizzle olive oil as you are mixing the stuffing – again amount is up to you. We love bathing in it so we go wild!

Stuff each veggie somewhat loosely to allow for the rice expansion as it cooks. Place the veggies upright. Once done stuffing them all. Pour a lukewarm water at the bottom of baking dish – just enough to come up to quarter of the height. With a spoon carefully put some of the lukewarm water into each veggie as well – makes for more moist stuffing.
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Cover up the baking dish with a parchment paper to help it steam while cooking and keep the moisture. Bake for 40 minutes. Then turn off the over, put crumbled feta on top of each veggie and broil till feta is pink and melty.

Pull out let it cool for 2 minutes and serve up!!
Sure to be a hit – enjoy it and let us know what you think after you tried it.
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Live well. Eat well. Love well !

Surprise Interview!

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Today we have  a very special guest who we really want to know more about him but I’m not gonna tell what or how is he doing just keep reading and be surprised or find what you exactly guessed!

Sven can you tell us about you little bit please?

Well, I think I’m a simple man with a lot of character traits. Here are some examples to describe
me:
• adventurous and active
I always have to try new things. I can’t stand boredom or the same things again and again!
There is no free moment where I just sit at home and do nothing.
• disciplined and determined
When I’m determined to do something, I’ve a will that will neither break nor bend. I never
give up until I reach the goal. “Never take no for an answer” is my device!
• amusing
I’m a funny person and I like to make other people laugh.
• effervescent
If something does not go according to plan or to my will 😀
• open-minded and enthusiastic
I like to meet new people and to learn new things. I’m always excited about new, good
ideas and like to inspire others.
• honest, straight and fair
If I do not agree with someone or something, I speak my mind. But there is always a certain
way to say it.
• authentic
I stay true to myself. I’m not pretending. This is me and I hope you like me as I am!
• humble
Money and material can’t make you happy. But a heart of gold!
• charming
I like to compliment a girl. I give my best to be a gentleman. If I have a date, I open the
car door for my princess 😉
• stubborn
My zodiac sign is to blame for this ;-). I’m Taurus.
• sensitive
Hard shell – soft core
• cheerful
To be cheerful is just more fun than being sad 🙂
• sociable
My best time I spend with my friends (or with my piano ;-)).• humorous
I like to make jokes (maybe you have already noticed) 😀
• moody
Every morning when I get up. The first thirty minutes I’m talking about nothing.
• Perfectionist
Small details make a big difference – Especially in the music world. Each note has to be
perfect, played with the right feeling, at the right time. This is the absolute minimum!
• rebellious
If something does not fit, I often do the opposite of what is expected. For the chef it’s not
always easy with me… but sometimes necessary 😉
• quick-witted
Always an inappropriate saying at the wrong time 😮
• spontaneous
I don’t like to plan and organize something down to the last details. I like it organized, but
with room for creativity.
• fond of animals
My dog, a German Shepherd dog named Tara, is my best friend. If I could I would have a
whole zoo 😀
• unpunctual
In general, I’m always five to ten minutes late 😮
• crazy
This is what other people say! 😉
• versatile
As you can see above 🙂

Where were you born?
I was born on 05/05/1985 in Bern, the capital of Switzerland. I grew up in this region as well. At
this stage, I live and work in Fribourg, the neighboring city of Bern.

Where did you study or learn the music which you are performing? How long and hard did take to be where you are today?
We are a very musical family. My father sings, my mother played the keyboard and my brother is
the drummer. When I was five years old, I wanted absolutely to learn playing the accordion like my
grandmother. So one day my parents took me to the music store Baeriswyl in Guin, the neighboring
village where it all began. At first I was a little frustrated because I was quickly made clear that
I’m too young to play the accordion. I could neither hold nor look over it. But I was quickly
convinced of the new keyboards. So I started to take my first music lessons on this. Gradually, I got
more and more to the piano. I wanted to be as good as Jerry Lee Lewis :-). At this time I took a
music lesson per week, but practiced one to two hours per day. A few years later, my music teacher became independent and moved to Bern. I followed him and continued to attend a music
lesson every two weeks. When I started to work, my music teacher came to me to teach me at
home. However, I continued to practice every day and spent a lot of time in the music. I stopped
taking lessons when I was twenty years old because I had to join the army. After the army I bought
a new piano and kept going. At the time I spend, on average, two to three hours in the music per
day. I like to try out new styles and to arrange acoustic versions of great hits. In addition, the
music helps me to relax and recover.
On this occasion I would like to thank my parents who have allowed me that and supported me all
these years. Thank you very much!

What are the best artist you like?
Well, two of my biggest idols are Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. I think that both artists were
real pioneers for their time. Perfectionists who were only satisfied with the best performance and
reinvented themselves over and over again.
Which kind of music are you performing?
That’s a good question. I perform not only one kind of music. I think the reason is that I like almost
every kind of music. I play from classical, pop and rock to blues and oldies. The main thing is that
it’s fun. Last June, I decided to start a YouTube channel. The first song I did was a complete
instrumental cover of the classic “Runaway” by Bon Jovi. Then I arranged a own version of “River
flows in you” by the South Korean pianist Yiruma. At the moment I’m writing an acoustic version
(piano/vocals) of the song “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon. By the way, the release of this video is
planned for the spring ;-). As you can see, I am a very versatile musician. I hope to offer something
for every taste.

What’s your goal about your life?
As I said at the beginning: I think I’m a simple man. I want to live long and healthy and still inspire many people with my music.

What massage would you like to give to our readers?
Short and sweet: Don’t wait for a perfect moment, take a moment and make it perfect!

Thank you Sven for sharing such a lovely time with us.

For more information about Sven please visit

Links:
Website (coming soon): http://www.piano-music.ch
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SvenFuerst85
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SvenFuerst
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+PianomusicChSvenFürst
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SvenFuerst

LaBote 2015 – Studio Community

Art is a gift that keeps giving to your heart and soul. We are looking forward to an artful year in 2015.

Here is a look at new works and some of our favorites from our studio community. It’s a pleasure and privilege to work with other artists.

Last night Dan showcased his new pitcher. Freshly glazed and waxed, we adored the intricate handle details. He threw the stoneware pitcher and then hand built the handle to look like a woven grape wines. Wow is all we got! can’t wait to see final look.
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Colleen has a way with symmetry and a wide range of works. From large forms to small ones like these jaw dropping porcelain Christmas ornaments…
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We are all about peace, so we were cranking out some peace for our holiday gifting.. perfect on a wall as a daily reminder. We are spreading it one sign at a time!! Here are two examples:

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There is a whole lot more… Follow us on Instagram for stories, videos and more.

Take a peek at our shop LaBote on Etsy.

Drop us a private line for purchase questions:
surprisesaffron@gmail.com