Click on this picture to track Norma's current progress.
It's happening right now.  As I type.  And it's to fight human trafficking. 

Norma Bastidas who has been abused and kidnapped herself will double the world record for longest triathlon by swimming, biking and running more than 3,500 miles starting her journey in Mexico and finishing in D.C., USA.  Read about who Norma is by clicking this link.    In 2009 Norma ran 7 of the world's most crazy environments on all 7 continents in 7 months. 

This time her crazy dream is to complete the world's longest triathlon to bring awareness to the fight against human trafficking.

Norma couldn't even swim last year and she has already completed the 122 mile open water swim starting in Cancun.
  She is now relentlessly biking from Cancun up into the US, inspiring and empowering survivors every inch of the way.  Did I mention she is 46 years old? 
My husband's 2nd cousin, Mary Wade, works for iEmpathize, and that is how I got into following Norma's journey to make history.  iEmpathize (a non-profit organization) has a mission to do battle with modern day slavery and child exploitation. 
PictureMary Wade
        A team from iEmpathize are following Norma with their film crew to create a documentary that will come out in late 2014 or early 2015, titled Be Relentless.  This film will feature Norma's record breaking triathlon as well as the stories of human trafficking victims. 
        Money raised from this film will help victims with programs, curriculum in education, and scholarship funds for survivors of human trafficking. 

        Mary has informed me that there are still many miles ahead that need to be sponsored!  The money raised in this campaign will impact at risk and exploited kids in Mexico and the US.

Check out the latest video put on by iEmpathize capturing moments in Norma's journey. 
Join us by sponsoring a mile or more of Norma's journey and inspiring others to do the same. Click the link below to find out more on what a mile costs!  If you can't give the whole mile amount- even $25 can make a difference!  Share this opportunity and what is going on with your church, bible study group, friends and family!
Excited about this world record breaking accomplishment to fight injustice.  Christ has called us to radical steps, will you join the fight?  What organizations are you involved with who would want to hear more about what iEmpathize is accomplishing?
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He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8
Pamper & Pops Valentine Spa Party
We had so much fun putting on our Valentines Spa Party this last Saturday.
Valentine Party Planning
Event schedule:  Eat delicious treats, girl time, pedicures, manicures, and facials with the leading dermatologist product Rodan+Fields!
Creator of Lighthouse Cakes
Let me introduce you to our lovely host and creator of Lighthouse Cakes.  Courtney Dill is extremely talented and makes custom cakes with an artistic flair.  She is available to make a cake for any event in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  These chocolate and red velvet cake pops are delicious and I could have eaten that whole tray.  If you want to contact her for your event e-mail her at court86@gmail.com.
Valentine Spa Party
Thanks to all the ladies (and one brave gentleman/grandpa baby holder) who came to celebrate with us!
Rodan + Fields Changing Sking and Changing Lives
I let these ladies feel the transformation happen to their skin first hand!  They were able to use the free Solution Tool to find out which regimen would be best for their skin needs.
R+F Free Solution Tool
If you want to host a party for you and your friends to try these products shoot me an e-mail:  alainaholland.myrandf@gmail.com
If you want me to mail you a sample of what these products are all about you can also contact me.
These regimens are clinically proven by the Dr's and millions of patients to help with wrinkles, sun spots, sensitive skin, and acne.  Each regimen is described in more detail on my Rodan+Fields page.
AMP UP your journey to great skin!
If you are interested in a home business with products that change skin and change lives click HERE.
If you are interested in learning more about R+F and becoming a Preferred Customer where you can save 10% on all our products plus receive free shipping click HERE.

Thanks again to Courtney and her amazing hosting skills! 
We had lots of fun and can't wait until we can party again!
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DIY Napkin Printing
For my sons 2nd birthday I wanted custom made napkins without the custom made cost.  I figured out how to print on my own napkins the logo and font of my choice. 

This can be used for business, birthdays, graduations, weddings, pregnancy reveal, and any other special custom made occasion. 
I did have a lot of trial and error but I figured out a system that worked well. 

Three steps to napkin printing

1.  First design what you want on the napkin in a program of your choice on the computer.  I use a Mac, so Pages works for me, but a simple Word Document also does the trick. 
I research free fonts to download that go with my theme.  I look for images or styles that I would like to choose.  For Zane's Bike party I found this cute bike image in a font that I could use.  For the pregnancy reveal I found a font with an image of a baby bottle and heart to use. 
A good place to go to search free cute fonts is Pinterest.
Once you have the design you must place the image in the center of the paper.

2.  Create a napkin sandwich.  You must do this or the printer will not print your napkin and your napkin gets stuck in the printer.  To trick the printer I taped two pieces of regular paper together with the top paper having a giant hole in the middle of it.  This tricks the printer into not catching on the napkin material.
3.  I placed the blank napkin inside the hole to be printed on.   I had to do a few test prints before I figured out the exact orientation I wanted for the napkin.  I labeled the paper so that each time I went to print a napkin I could just place it in the right spot.  With this method you are only able to print on one napkin at a time, but you get the design you want! 
Enjoy printing your own napkins!  Has anyone tried printing on material through a regular printer?  Does anyone know about a printer that would print on the napkin directly with out the paper sandwich?  Do share if you have some information! 
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Sweet and easy DIY Pregnancy Reveal to Husband
This time around when I found out we were expecting, I decided to keep it a secrete for a date night!  I knew I couldn't go long without letting my husband in on our little secrete so I didn't allow myself to know for sure (take the home test) until I arranged for a babysitter that evening for our first child.  When I saw it was positive I went into full plan mode and was super excited about our date night!  We had been trying for some time and this was going to be really exciting news!!  I kept it really simple but we will have such a sweet memory to share for that date night.
DIY Napkin Print for Pregnancy Reveal

3 DIY steps to prepare for the reveal:

 FIRST:  When husband wasn't home I created a word document with a cute free font I found online that had a baby bottle built in to the template.  Free font download of Baby Lexi font. 
SECOND: Choose your napkin of choice.  Create or buy a congratulations card and place the due date inside.
THIRD:  Print image you created on the napkin!  Details on how to print on a napkin: DIY Napkin Printing (coming soon). 
Slip the two napkins one saying "You're my mommy"  "You're my daddy" into your purse and he will never know!
Date Day

Go on a fun date!

We started out walking around botanical gardens.  Then we made our way to the restaurant.  My husband conveniently needed to go to the restroom so I placed his napkin under his silverware at our table.  If he didn't leave for a moment my plan was to 'go to the restroom' and ask the waiter to bring the napkins to us and place them on the table when we receive our drinks, refills, or plates.
DIY Pregnancy Reveal Idea to Husband
At first we just starting eating like normal, then my husband saw he had a napkin and went to use it.  He was confused at first, then looked at me with a hopeful expression.  I couldn't contain my excitement and gave him a congratulations card with the expected due date inside.  He was overjoyed and we got to spend the rest of the evening talking and dreaming.
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Pregnancy Announcement 1
If you have known us for a while you have heard about our journey (read about it HERE) through loss and the unknown.  You know of how big a deal this is.  Not only is this big news but it points to a big God.  A God who doesn't always do what we want, but who always does what is right. 
Pregnancy Announcement 2
The fact that we have another little heart beating that bears the Holland name is a miracle from God.  I had blood work done to see if I have developed any anti-bodies that could potentially 'kill a foreign object' (ie: baby) and they came back negative!  We are overjoyed at this miracle!
Pregnancy Announcement 3
Thank you for your prayers.  We have another appointment in a week and I still struggle with insecurities about if the baby is ok.  Pray that I remind myself of Truth, and battle those lies with God's Word!  Even if baby is not ok, this is not our home.  Christ is enough to sustain us.  Christ is enough period. 
Pregnancy Announcement 4
Husband designed and drew the chalkboard sign!  YAY!  He is so talented!!
Pregnancy announcement 5
With 4 thankful hearts this thanksgiving,
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If you want to know more about any of these products go to http://alainaholland.myrandf.com
Want to know which product would be for you?  Help with acne? Blemishes? Sun damage? Dark spots? Sensitive skin? Go to the 'Solution Tool' & E-mail yourself which regimen would be for your skin care needs.
If you become a preferred customer you would get 10% all purchases and free shipping on the regimen of your choice!
God let me know even before our son was born, that I needed to be a stay at home mom.  The reason: God has designed the family to be the primary trainers and disciple makers of their children.  I have a huge task ahead!  When my husband said we needed to make the move off the mission field and into Seminary, in the USA, I was very worried.  How would I be the bread winner and stay at home?  All God said in return... "I will provide."

I had to first take the trust fall before God showed me His provision.  My thoughts were full of worry as we were moving into a country where we needed to triple our income we had in Ecuador to survive in Texas.  

My mom told me about our mutual friend who left the mission field the year before who found a stay at home job.  Motivated by the knowledge that God said He would provide a stay at home job, I made the contact!  I am a living testimony that when God says he will provide- He always does.

I am now an Independent Consultant and Business Owner with Rodan and Fields Dermatology.  I couldn't be more excited about joining a business launch than this one.  The reason?  What we provide with R+F puts the exclamation mark on a Proverbs 31 woman (CEV).  I have always wanted to strive more like this woman pictured below:

In Praise of a Good Wife

10 A truly good wife
is the most precious treasure
    a man can find!
11 Her husband depends on her,
    and she never
    lets him down.
12 She is good to him
    every day of her life,
13     and with her own hands
    she gladly makes clothes.
14 She is like a sailing ship
    that brings food
    from across the sea.
15 She gets up before daylight
to prepare food
    for her family
    and for her servants.
16 She knows how to buy land
and how to plant a vineyard,
17     and she always works hard.
18 She knows when to buy or sell,
    and she stays busy
    until late at night.
19 She spins her own cloth,
20  and she helps the poor
     and the needy.
21 Her family has warm clothing,
    and so she doesn’t worry
    when it snows.
22 She does her own sewing,
    and everything she wears
    is beautiful.
23 Her husband is a well-known
and respected leader
    in the city.
24 She makes clothes to sell
    to the shop owners.
25 She is strong and graceful,
    as well as cheerful
    about the future.
26 Her words are sensible,
    and her advice
    is thoughtful.
27 She takes good care
of her family
    and is never lazy.
28 Her children praise her,
    and with great pride
    her husband says,
29 “There are many good women,
    but you are the best!”
30 Charm can be deceiving,
    and beauty fades away,
but a woman
who honors the Lord
    deserves to be praised.
31 Show her respect--
    praise her in public
    for what she has done.

Are you looking for something to supplement your income while staying at home? 
If you want to join my team and have a home business right now is the perfect time to jump on board!  If you contact me I will tell you why now is the time!  E-mail me: alainaholland.myrandf@gmail.com

For business interest check out: alainaholland.myrandf.biz
If your interested in the products check out:  alainaholland.myrandf.com

Looking forward to hearing from you,
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Prayer Poem about Moving

In the midst of transition be my constant.
In the wake of business be my focus point.
As I am changing continents be my world.
As I am gloomy with goodbyes be my forever hello.
When my heart sags with sorrow be my steady joy.
When my mind is bombarded with new stimuli be my familiarity.

As I choose carefully what to pack,
May you be the only possession I can't live without.
While I have less, I possess everything in you.

May him who had no sin be sin for me,
While in him I become the righteousness of God.

Send me out to be Christ's ambassador, 
To the broken no matter where in the world they call home.
This is consistent healing, for every tribe, language, and culture.

~Inspired by 2 Corinthians 5~
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7 Steps to Cyber Garage Sale
We move a lot.  We have been married 4 years and we have moved 5 times.  We are always looking for ways to make moving easier.  That is why we created a blog specifically for moving. (This blog is not our sale blog by the way.)

STEP 1:  Create a free blog space just for moving or selling items!  A great place to start is signing up with a pre-made template blog using Weebly or wordpress.com.  This requires less design work from you.  Title your blog something that you can use again if you move or have another cyber garage sale in 3 to 15 years from now.  A good example would be 'hollandsale.'

STEP 2: Keep your house close to how it is already!  Especially if you will be selling most items in your house for a move overseas.   Go through your house and go ahead and pack up the small items you know you want to keep.  The rest- keep where it is! 

STEP 3: Take pictures.  Group photos or individual zoomed in shots of what you will be selling.  Take photos room by room.  We started with our living room and moved on to our dining room, kitchen, bedrooms, and bathrooms.   If there is an item in the photo that I do not want to sell but is too large to move just for the photo, it's simple- just don't list the item in your pricing!  Do you ever wonder why big department stores display home items all together?  People are more likely to buy individual items when you display them like you would in a house.  They want to see the whole picture! 
Quality photos note:  Take your photos in the daytime.  Make sure your curtains are open to let in as much natural light as possible.  Take your photos with a tripod or lean against a wall to steady your hand.   Keep your back to the window so the photos get the natural light of the window behind the picture taker.  These photos is what will sell your items.  So you want to make sure they are clear pictures.

STEP 4: Create a new page on your blog for each room represented in your house.  
Make sure to create a home page with a welcome message to the garage sale and rules you want to include.  An example of the welcome message and rules we set up for our blog was the following:  
Hello Friends!  We wanted to let you know what we are selling.

- The items that are in RED you can purchase & have now.

- The items that are black will not be available until Mid-June but you can secure them now with a deposit.

- Come take a tour of our home as items are listed by rooms they occupy.

- Feel free to browse through our house by clicking on the links to the left.

- First come with money, first serve.   Please leave a comment under the listed item or picture of an item that you want to purchase.

- If you do not want to pay in cash, you can send us money through our paypal account online.

Enjoy Shopping!  Buy lots!

STEP 5:  Insert your photos into your blog & price.  I placed all my photos in the category pages they needed to go in by room.   Then I priced the individual items in the picture right under the photo.  
STEP 6: Advertise!  
Send out the link to your blog to all your friends through your social media platforms!  You can also create a flyer with tabs that the consumer can tear off that has your blog url for placing an advertisement in a public place.
STEP 7:   Manage the purchases.  
Make sure you stay up to date on who purchased what.  The great part about this is they can shop from home at their convenience and you can manage from home at your convenience!  In step 4 I listed what I have on our home page.  The consumer must make a comment on the blog under the item listed they want to buy.  This keeps track for me who was first come first serve.  With them commenting they have to add their email address so I can contact them any time. 
I created a pages document (Word document for non mac people) listing who purchased what and the price.  That way I could keep track of how many things Jane Doe purchased from the various rooms and what her total bill would be all in one spot.   We set up a date for the buyers to come pick up their items and it was done!  This was a space I could make any other notes I needed to make about that buyer.  If they left a deposit but couldn't have the item until we were closer to leaving then I would make a note of that.  

That is it!  Enjoy making some money on items you need to get rid of!
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Mitad del Mundo {middle of the world}

Step one foot on the northern hemisphere and another foot on the southern hemisphere while standing on the equator line!  If you want to know where it is located, check out Middle of the World, Ecuador on google maps.
This is the touristy monument.  You can shop here and take fun pictures.  There is a diverse insect collection you can look at.  (My husbands favorite part.)
The real center of the world line is a few feet away around the corner at Intinan Museum.

Basílica Catholic Church

Between 1890 and 1896 is when the building began to be built.  The Basílica took about 100 years to build.  It is a magnificent building with unique architecture.  From the top you have a wonderful view of down town Quito.  


On a clear day we love going to Teleferico.  You can take a cable car up the Pichincha Volcano.  Down in the valley of Quito you are about 9,500 ft above sea level.  The cable car lets you off and you arrive at about 13,500 ft.  Your children must be 18 months or older to take the cable car.  On a clear day you can see 3 different snow peak volcanos.  There is also an amusement park near the entrance of the mountain that also has a great view of Quito.  
Hikers can continue hiking up to the peak of the active volcano to a summit of 15,695 ft.  My husband was able to do this in preparation for his big Cotopaxi climb.  It can get cold- so wear layers and sunscreen!  Another adventure option is taking your bike up the cable car and ride down the mountain!

Restaurants with a View

Café Mosaico (pictured above) is a great place to go to eat with a view of old town Quito.  In the distance you can see the Basílica church we listed above.  Prices are like eating at a place in the USA.  Expensive for Ecuador- but normal for tourists.  

Vista Hermosa Cafe Mirador is a place located in the center of down town Quito.  You can eat on the roof of this cafe and have a gorgeous view all around.  Lunch isn't served until around 1pm- which is normal for Ecuador.  If you come here at night all the old buildings are lit up beautifully.  Prices are high for Ecuador but normal for USA.  
Rumiloma Dinner
Rumiloma is a romantic get-a-way with a spectacular view.  Nestled in the mountains and not too far from where we live!  Dinner is not only delicious but you are surrounded by antiques from all over the world.  Every room is decorated beautifully and a joy to explore.  You can also spend the night there- but it is much out of our price range so we just asked for a tour of the rooms for free!  ;-)  
This is a high dollar place and only go when you are without kids and you have some money.  The ice-cream here is home made and the best in the whole country in my opinion.  

View from our apartment
Listed above are our favorite touristy spots in Quito.  I could go on and on about different places to see and do- but I capped it off at most enjoyable spots.  Have you been to Quito?  What are some of your favorite spots?

With much love for the city with a population of about 3 million that we have lived in for the past 3.5 years,
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