7 Quick Takes Friday {Svellerella Edition!}

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Hi. Hi there.  Jen is busy being fabulous and throwing an enormous Catholic mommy blogger conference in Texas right now, and she asked me to host for my favorite link up ever! Probably this is the second best thing next to getting to actually go to Edel. So welcome to my litter blerg, all ye who visit.


Quick intro!

I’m Carolyn and I like warm hugs. sometimes. …after I’ve been given approximately 6+ sleeping hours of not being touched or pulled on or summoned to feed anyone.  After that, I’m good until about noon and then a nerve in my neck starts tweaking and I need more coffee and baked goods to survive until sleep time.

Not really. Kind of.
I’m an introvert who played extrovert for the majority of my youth, and I still do while out in public.  I love my Cathycathcatholic faith and have a special devotion to Saint John Paul II.  I’m a big fat art nerd who never totally fit the artsy stereotype mostly because I had inner conflict over the purpose in life for creating art (my main village man JPII helped me iron that out though).  I was a pretty solid tomboy growing up and played a bunch of sports, but now the idea of sweating makes me feel like taking a nap.  My first job was an Umpire for jr. high baseball and fast pitch softball, and I was hollering “YERRRRROUT!” until my late teens. I did, however, work for many years in a mom & pop coffee shop.   So there you go, artist cliché. meh.

Then I got married to a handsome fellow, had 3 boys, and here I am, spitting wifedom and motherhood out all over this blog.  Welcome!  If you’re dying for more, visit my “About Me” page where I drag it on and on and on.


I’ve never met a famous person in a setting where I actually get to talk with them one on one, but I’ve always been completely confident that I’d handle being starstruck as not even a thing.  Like, I’d play it so cool, maybe the famous person would wonder to himself, “wait, am I famous?”  And I’d leave with completely dry armpits. No big deal, we are all human here. Everybody poops.

So, Craig and I went to a homeschooling conference recently.  Dr. Ray Guarendi and Colleen Hammond were the two key speakers of this event, and afterwards, we had the opportunity to meet them, chat, and purchase their books, of course.

Craig and I walked swaggered up to Colleen’s table and before I knew it, my mouth was speaking much faster than my brain knew what to do with it.
“Ahh! I read your book when I was in high school! I feel like I KNOW YOU! Of course, you have no idea who I am, but I feel like you’re my family, or like you’re an old… OLD…”

And that’s when my brain stopped working. Some distant, conscious part of it was crying no! Not now! You can’t just trail off at the word OLD!


General sigh of relief over an awkward save.  I steered clear of Dr. Ray.

And this is why I would not fare well at Edel.


Which, my sentiments of not attending The Edel Gathering are of a recovering depressed person.  If you want to join the pity party, I partied here.  Come, do the Frodo dive into Mount Doom with me.  Really, though, I’m at a good place with it and I hope I hope I hope YOU and I will make it one fine day to a future Edel Gathering.


Today is also the close of Natural Family Planning  Awareness week.  I blurted my point two cents about it here.  But more excitingly is the mega give-away action going down at Simcha’s blog.  She’s got so much to give away, the odds HAVE to be in my favor to win a copy of her book!  Go visit!


Looky here, looky here!  My close friend, Heather, is a talented photographer, editor, and business woman, and she slapped my big ol’ face on her site.  If you’re in the Cincinnati area needing portraits taken, give her a holler.  If you’re looking for some solid coaching on how to make your own photography look great asap, go see what she’s got to offer.


My current craftycraft thing I’m doing is crocheting blanket #2 of 3 for my boys –but Pinterest got me all jazzed over crocheting a huge rug from cut-up cotton tee shirts.  The itch to attempt it has become too great, and the box in my closet filled with ancient t-shirts to throw away overfloweth, so I began!  I’ve grammed a few shots of the progress, but I hope to turn it into a full throttle how-to post because it’s going just swell.  Interested in that kind of thing?  No? Oh well.


Welp. I blogged, which can only mean one thing:

property of C. Svellinger
Lego playing with reckless abandon. It got worse before it got better. And then it got worse again. 

It was so fun to host 7QT!  I hope no one nodded off more than twice.  Prayers for all the ladies attending Edel this weekend: for safe travels, fun times, and a minimum amount of embarrassing social awkwardness!  Congratulations, Jen and Hallie, on your partay!


It’s that week of the year again {5 FAVORITES}

{this post contains affiliate links, and I encourage all to purchase through them at no additional cost, cause it helps power my blog. merci bien.}

En Eff Pee.

I promise I didn’t forget it.

I think summer time naturally smokes the bees out of a blogger’s bonnet because my favorite bloggers are taking blogging vacays left and right. Rightly so. The summer winds come blowing in, and we’re all too balmy to type.  Sometimes it’s nice to sit back and read what everyone else is saying.

But balmy is Natural Family Planning talk anyway, so here I go from my reclined position as a READER, with a list of 5 favorite Natural Family Planning things to check out, if ye be so inclined.


Favorite Svellerella NFP post.

Property of C. Svellinger

Because I’ve done and said my peace tenfold about my position on the matter concerning fertility, women’s whole health, and all that jazz, we’ll start off with a self promote, obviously.  Actually, I just wanted to resurface this classic NFP swag pic. I still don’t know what my hand is doing there. awkward.

I wrote this last year, and (aside from the embarrassing writing) by golly, if that wasn’t a self prophesy which is slowly inching its sad way into fulfill-dom, I don’t know what is.  Health issues is me this year, and for the first time in my life, I’ll be visiting a doctor which practices NaPro technology this summer.  I had a quick visit earlier this month to rule out some scariness and boy, oh boy was it nice to talk to a doctor who didn’t look upon my face with belittling eyebrows and say, “NFP, eh? Well, that just means more business for me!”  Because my last OBGYN, yes ma’am, he looked me dead in the eyes and said that.  How can a doctor be pro natural birth, and health and everything else natural on earth, but when it comes to natural fertility awareness? Eyeballs roll.

When I showed my NaPro doctor my charts, his eyes didn’t gloss over with ignorance and prejudice.
His brow furrowed in concentration, and he read them. HE READ THEM!


Favorite Charting App

Kindara App.

  •  It’s free. 
  •  It’s sympto-thermal, but you don’t have to chart that way.  For example, some months, I record only cervical fluid, and some months I remember to include basal body temperatures.
  • It’s customizable.  You can add any symptom you’d like and it’ll pop up on your daily chart. Extreme cramps? Nausea? HORMONAL RAGE? You can check that box instead of manually entering it in a note. This is handy if your doctor is trying to help you diagnose health issues.
  • There’s a Kindara community.  If you choose, you can anonymously share your chart, and get some help with it.  If you opt not to share, you can still check out the community and view other women’s charts, and privately compare them to your own.  I have learned a lot by comparing my charts to other ladies.
  • Kindara’s knowledge base is extremely helpful.  Right in the app, you can access help guides which remind you how and why to chart certain symptoms, and what those symptoms or patterns might suggest of your fertility and health.  I’ve also emailed them for help placing a coverline, and I received a response almost immediately.

And P.S. The Kindara website?  It’s beautiful.  Check it out.


Favorite NFP Book.

Do I really have to say it? Simcha’s book, of course.

It’s easy to read– easy to be interrupted by children and chores, and easy to return to and pick up where I was and not feel burdened to backtrack so I know what’s going on.
I absolutely LOVE that Simcha addresses the controversial part of NFP, “What is a just reason to delay pregnancy?”

She smashes the woeful misunderstanding of non-Catholics that there are these rigid, strict absolutes defining for each person the EXACT justification for abstaining and delaying pregnancy. There might be a few, but mostly, its different for every family, in every part of the world and Simcha points it out.

Simcha does admit the book is written for those who already understand NFP, and those who understand Church teaching. So basically, after you read the Bible, the Catechism, St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, and finally Taking Charge of Your Fertility, refer to Simcha Fisher’s book.

The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning goes a little something like this:


 Other favorite NFP blog post 

Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas wrote this one a few years ago, but I always come back to it.  She also has a series: Women Speak on NFP which is  e x t e n s i v e  and inspiring to read the differing points of view about NFP.


One more.

Patheos blogger Jen Fitz wrote a funny, to-the-point post with some common sense reasons to learn NFP. She gives a small piece of advice which, to be honest, Craig and I thank God we did not follow right away. wink, wink.

More importantly, she addresses the reality of infertility, but how helpful (and successful) NFP is at addressing possible infertility problems, and overcoming them.

Alright. There it is, my NFP week contribution. werk.  I’ll be linking up with Heather at Mama Knows, Honeychild for 5 Faves (Because Hallie retired. sadface, but okayface, because Iunderstandface, and ilikeheather,too,face.)  :)

OH.  And hey you 5 people who are NOT attending the glamorous Edel Gathering in TX this weekend, I’ll be hosting Jen’s 7 Quick Takes this Friday. Come. Let us have a pity party.  I’m kidding. A little.   (…as I wring my hands over what on earth I’m going to write that’ll come remotely close to something as awesome as Jen’s writing or any other blogger who has hosted for her before. YIPE!)

Win $50 shop credit to Wrenn Jewelry! [Giveaway]

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Yes, hi! Jewelry!  I have to be brief today because momma ain’t feeling too swell BUT, anyone up for extra celebrating?

I found Alissa through Instagram and fell in total drooling want of her simple and clean, wire-wrapped, sparkling pretties, and it didn’t take long before I convinced Craig to let me (ahem) help him work on a school project in return for Alissa’s famous peach druzy ring. With Wrenn Jewelry’s reasonable prices, and Craig’s prospect of kicking back with a bowl of cereal, done deal.

Aaand den, I ordered her emerald oval ring.  And I flooded Instagram with pictures of them, because that’s how I do.
An’ dennn, I entered her monthly photo contest and WON! a shop credit, so I ordered this and this.

An’den! I did a little photography work in exchange for theesawon (say hi to my work!), and boy.oh.boy am I a sucker for pink and gold.

property of C. Svellinger
So I’m a fan. I guess. I justify it by happily ignoring the devastation I used experience to when we would leave the house and my nails weren’t painted –causebabies–because Wrenn upstages my paint job all day long.

As it turns out, Alissa, a wife and a mother, is using her talent to help support her family, while also suffering some pretty big health issues and has completely changed her diet in order to live in health.  She also has a knack for photography, which we all know by now I like to think I do too, so gah! I just really love this lady, and her work, and I really think you will too!

And that’s whyyyyyyy:

Alissa is giving a $50 credit to one of you, my favorite readers!
Also! If you order anything from today until Friday, Wrenn Jewelry is offering 15% off to all of my readers with the code at checkoutSVELL14

If you’d love a chance to win this giveaway, comment below with your favorite piece of Wrenn Jewelry, and follow the Rafflecopter prompts for more chances.

Alissa is super sweet to work with and will do custom orders- and stuff for weddings, (Brides? bridesmaids gifts!) She also just put these bellas up on her site and now I have a new favorite to add to my wish list because PINK PEONY!?  …Craig :)

I hope you win, and I hope everyone had a beautiful 4th!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


{psst! If you’re reading this via email or Feedly, click here to enter!}