Your cart
Close Alternative Icon
free us shipping on orders over $100 free us shipping on orders over $100

Dear Mushka,

Q&A: A Few of Katie's Favorite Things

I’m answering some of your frequently asked questions from where I got my nose ring to a list of my favorite books! I’ve added plenty of links for you to find everything you’re looking for

Which Bible do you use? 

I use the ESV Reformation Study Bible, Condensed Edition. Find it here! I’ve used it for over 10 years. There is another great version here called the ESV Study Bible.

Where did you get your nose ring? 

I first ordered a sample pack from here and once I knew my size, asked her to make me a 7mm one!

Where did you get your white chair cover?

My quiet time chair is covered with a king-sized Swiss Dot coverlet. You could find one at or just google ‘swiss dot coverlet’ for other options.

Where did you get the art on the wall behind your chair? 

It’s from an artist named Elizabeth Mayville. I purchased the art from Etsy here although you may be able to find it in other places. I chose four of her bun prints. I loved that the girls are all kind of different and arranged them to be looking at each other as though they’re having a conversation. They’ve been really inspirational to me. 

Where is your Apple Watch band from? 

It’s currently unavailable, but this one here is pretty close. Less than $15!

How do I change my order, billing or address when shopping at Dear Mushka? 

I don’t handle any customer service, but you’re welcome to email and somebody will get back to you soon!

Can I leave a note for someone on my order? 

Yes! Write it in the box on the View Cart screen and we’ll add it to a cute card. A more proper note box is on our to-do list!

For more about my garden, watch this highlight or follow my personal Instagram @dearmushkaroots.

For anyone interested in our home decor, watch these home tour highlights here and here.

For our adoption story, watch this highlight. We’ve adopted three times domestically.

For those interested in what I’m reading, head on over to my Amazon page. You’ll find my favorite books on motherhood, racial reconciliation and lots more. Continue reading
Capsule Wardrobe: How it's changed for me over the years

People capsule wardrobe for multiple reasons. Here are a few:

1. "Paralysis by Analysis"--meaning you have so many clothes, you feel paralyzed by the decision of what to wear. Instead of easily finding something you feel good in, you hem and haw over the decision and waste precious time and energy. 

2. Limited Resources-- Your closet or wallet is only so big, you need to limit what you spend money on and bring into your home. 

3. Or my reason... sin!

I've been "capsule wardrobing" for a few years now. Originally, I began doing it because I recognized an addiction I'd formed to new clothes. When I was sad, I'd peruse Target and toss a new pair of pants into my cart. When I was stressed or procrastinating, I'd do a little online shopping and joyously await my packages' arrival a few days later. 

New clothes aren't sinful, but my reason for shopping was; I had replaced peace from the Lord with temporary peace from the emotional high shopping brought. I began to call it like it was: idolatry. 

(Perhaps for you, this looks more like the sin of vanity or poor stewardship? Something to consider!)

For the last few years, I've limited my clothes shopping window to the first two weeks at the beginning of a new season (obviously with a little flexibility). 

Spring: March 1-15

Summer: June 1-15

Fall: September 1-15

Winter: December 1-15

This year, however, I sensed that God was calling me to a different focus. Instead of capsuling when I shopped, I'm capsuling the amount of pieces I purchase with the goal of becoming a more generous giver to those in need. This is something the Lord has been working in my heart for awhile now, and clothes happen to be the next step :) 

FAQs from you all:

Q: Why not limit the amount of money you spend on clothes?

A: I don't want to be tempted to buy a lesser quality of clothing at the expense of supporting an ethical brand or simply a piece that will last longer than one year. 

Q: So how many pieces will you buy this year? 

A: I think I've landed on twelve- one a month. This does not include anything gifted by someone else or traded (a perk of having a small business).

Q: Do you capsule your kids' clothes?

A: Yes and no. I try to buy any clothes my children will need for the upcoming season all at one time so I don't feel the need to constantly look for other clothes/ shop tempting sales/ etc. But I also recognize that kids outgrow or ruin clothes more easily than I do; If I need to shop, I will. 

Q: Where do you shop? 

A: Almost all my clothes from my favorite online boutique August Cloth. The founder is a dear friend of mine, and operates her company with such dignity and grace.

Q: How will you decide what to buy?

A: I recently heard that we wear most of our clothes roughly 7 times before removing them from our closets. Only seven! Someone suggested purchasing clothes you imagine you'll wear at least thirty times (except for special occasion pieces), which felt reasonable and difficult at the same time. I'm going into it with this thought!  

Q: How do you keep from being bored with your wardrobe?

A: For me, this is a heart issue. If I feel the need to purchase more clothes because I'm bored, I need to reevaluate what brings me joy. Of course, I'm also not saying I can't buy anything new this year; just not an endless amount of new items. Glancing at Pinterest or a similar site could help inspire new outfits with pieces I already own. 

Continue reading
How to Begin a Cut Flower Garden

Last year, I started my first "cut flower garden." A cut flower garden is different than a flower bed because the goal is not to have a beautiful landscape (though cut flower gardens are beautiful); it's to grow flowers for the purpose of cutting them! 

One year in and I was hooked. I loved every bit of the process- choosing seeds, watching them sprout in our home, planting them into the dirt, watching them grow and bloom. And then being able to gift something so simple and special to friends for months on end!

Plus, I began to relate to so many of the garden metaphors in the Bible and found myself loosening my grip on control, knowing that it is only God who can grow; I just do the planting. 

Here are some bits of information if you'd like to begin your own cut flower garden:

1. Find a place for your garden and get it prepared. I used a funny little courtyard that was already at our house, planting in both the garden beds and two raised beds Robert built out of fence posts. You could also use pots! 

2. Order seeds- hooray! I love Floret Flowers and Johnny Seeds, but you could also grab packets from a local shop or a zillion other online sources. Before you grab anything that looks pretty, read a little bit to see how long the flowers will take to grow and the kind of conditions they'll need. Perennials take a while to grow but should pop back up the next year. Annuals make up the bulk of my flowers and are absolutely stunning, but will die at the end of the Summer. Also to note: Will the flowers get so tall you'll have to stake them? Etc. 

I love "cut and come" flowers that reward being cut- the more you snip off flowers, the more they produce more! Zinnians, China Aster, Sweet Peas, and Snapdragons all fall into this category.

Yarrow (a perennial) and lace flower were other favorites from last year. 

Pro tip: Grow half flowers & half filler/foliage to create a beautiful bouquet. I made this mistake last year and didn't grow enough greenery to add. I'm excited to attempt Eucalyptus this year! 

If you're already feeling overwhelmed, I can't say enough good things about Floret Flowers and their online resources. They have a beautiful and wildly informative blog with a fabulous search bar. Here's a great place to start! 

3. Get to planting! Google your last frost date (around Middle Tennessee it's usually middle of April) and count backwards. If a seed packet says "start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date" you'll know when to begin work. For me, I began some slow growing seeds end of January and will continue doing so until I plant outside. 

I love these trays + this seed starter mix but there are lots of options. Here's a good blog post to get you started. Follow instructions on your seed packet for seed depth, water needs, etc. I set them up in front of window with these lights above. 

4. Plant outside when the time is right, after "hardening off" your baby plants a little at a time. Some flowers may be "direct seed", which means you'll just put the seeds right in the ground. Zinnias are great for this and make an excellent first cut-flower garden flower!   

Here are a few books I absolutely love (click photos for direct links). Cut Flower Garden by Erin at Floret Flowers is an invaluable resource. She just released a second book, A Year in Flowers, about arranging based on what's in season. It's a great follow-up once you have your flowers blooming! 

 A Tree in the House was informative and also beautifully written; her words were a work of art in and of themselves. In Bloom is another fantastic resource; I'd recommend it with Cut Flower Garden above. 

Here's my full Amazon List with garden favorites, but I have to say: A flower "frog" as they're called is amazing for arranging flowers in a vase. And wide mouth mason jars (or pickle jars!) are perfect for gifting flowers to friends. 


Something I'm doing differently this year: Keeping track in a binder. I have graph paper to plot out my flowers (I'm trying to cram more in this year), a sheet with dates so I know when I planted, and sheets for each type of flower to keep track of necessary details. It's a little added work, but I think it will help me feel less chaotic :) 

Continue reading
A Day in the Life: Mom of Three + Business Owner

Every day looks a little different, but here's a typical Wednesday or Friday around our house. I have three boys (5, 2, 5mo) and a growing business! 

6:00 Alarm goes off. I get up, put on work out clothes, and feed the cat.

6:10 Sit down in my cozy chair to spend time with the Lord. You can read my details of a typical "quiet time" here!

Here are the prayer pages I use. 

7:00 I put away dishes and prep breakfast for the boys if I have an extra moment. 

7:15 The boys usually start waking up around this time. I try to feed my youngest his bottle before I let the other two out of their rooms so he isn't too distracted to eat. 

7:30 Breakfast for the boys. We usually do oatmeal and a protein smoothie on weekdays. We also spend this time reading a devotion, saying a memory verse, etc

Lately, we've been talking about a verse from The Fighter Pack and it's been so good for our home's atmosphere. 

8:00 Clean up the kitchen (the boys are in charge of cleaning where they sat), start a load of laundry, get everyone dressed 

8:15 Exercise. I do a 30 minute BeachBody workout while the boys play around me. 

8:45 Take a quick shower and get ready for the day. I usually put my 2 year old in the bathroom with me so I can keep track of him ;) 

9:00-11:00 My youngest goes down for his morning nap and I play with the older two. Sometimes we meet a friend or go to the playground (my husband works from home so he's there with the baby); other times we play in our yard or do puzzles and play dough inside. 

Somewhere in there, I'll make my protein smoothie. You can read about why I do intermittent fasting here if you're curious. 

11:30 Lunch time! My youngest is up and we're all in the kitchen together. Sometimes I read to the boys while they eat and other times I'm folding laundry or posting on Instagram and answering messages.

12:00-1:00 The boys play in the playroom while I get a few things done. I do anything from meal planning, to cleaning a bathroom to switching their closets to the next season. 

1:00-3:00 The boys nap (or have quiet time in their rooms) and I work! Usually, I share on Instagram stories during this time and squeeze in lunch, too. 

3:00 Everyone is up. We snack, read, play outside, etc. 

4:30 The day's orders are packaged and my husband is usually done working so we all pile into the car to drive to the post office. It's nice to get out of the house if I haven't done so that day! 

5:00 I work on dinner while my husband wrestles with the boys to get some energy out. We eat around 5:30. 

6:00-7:00 Playtime

7:00-7:30 Bedtime! Quick baths, pajamas, and a few books in bed.

7:30-8:30 Robert and I snuggle up on the couch to watch a show or catch up from the day. 

8:30-9:15 I head to our room to read or journal as I unwind. 

9:30 Asleep! If I don't get to bed around this time, I won't be ready to wake up at 6:00am the next morning. Sometimes, it's hard to make myself close a book or get off the couch but it's always worth it. 

I shared my entire Day in the Life over on IG stories so be sure to check it out here


Continue reading
FASTer Way to Fat Loss Review

I just finished my first round (intro week + 6 weeks of the plan) of The FASTer Way to Fat Loss and so benefited from others' reviews, I thought I'd write my own here!

In short: I LOVED it. It's the first eating plan I've ever done that left me feeling completely equipped and motivated to continue far beyond the original 6 weeks. I wasn't looking forward to the end at all. I lost multiple pounds and multiple inches + gained muscle and energy. And mostly, I felt a freedom from food for the first time in long time. 

There are four parts to the FASTer Way method, which was a little overwhelming at first. But don't worry, you catch on quickly!

1. Tracking Macros. All food is made up of macronutrients- protein, fat, and carbohydrates- and our bodies need certain amounts of each to thrive. With a few clicks in the My Fitness Pal app, you're able to see how many of each macro you should eat in a day and record them. Once most of your regular foods are in the system (including common recipes and meals you eat), logging your daily food is quick and easy, truly. 

I thought this part was going to drive me nuts, but scanning foods' barcodes (from string cheese to broccoli) made it very simple and painless. It takes me less than five minutes a day and I usually do it in the morning so I can plan my day before I even begin eating. 

Keeping track of macros was eye opening. I learned that I wasn't eating enough protein in a day and was substituting it with way too much fat. Balancing all this out was a game changer for me! In the future, I probably won't record every day in the app- I know what a typical day looks like now and don't need to- but it was extremely helpful to do so for 6 weeks. 

My favorite part of keeping track of macros was that I began to see all food as just... food. If I wanted a bowl of ice cream I could eat one; it just had to fit into my macros. If I wanted a giant breakfast sandwich one day or pasta on date night that was okay- I just adjusted other foods and made it work. And because this is a lifestyle, not a crash diet, I felt so much grace to get back on the horse if I was off one day. No biggie!

Note: Some people buy a food scale for the highest level of accuracy in counting macros. I couldn't see myself doing that long-term so I didn't do it.

2. Carb Cycling. This is an alteration of carbohydrate intake to prevent fat loss plateaus and keep your metabolism working effectively. Basically, you cycle between low carb days (Monday and Tuesday) and regular carb days (Wednesday-Sunday) to ensure that your body burns fat effectively without causing significant hormonal damage or dips in energy. 

The keto diet is really popular right now (and for good reason- people lose weight quickly!) but it can be dangerous, especially for women, and it's hard to keep up. We all want and need fruit, rice, beans, etc. I loved carb cycling because it was only for two days... and on those days I got to enjoy extra fat like cheese, avocados, nuts, bacon, etc. Yes, please. I looked forward to my low carb days and learned very quickly how to adjust my eating to match them. 

3. Intermittent Fasting. On this plan, you limit your "feeding window" to eight hours a day. For me, I did 10:30-6:30, but you could skip breakfast all together and do something more like 12:00-8:00 with a snack in there.

According to the FASTer website: "Daily periods of fasting change your body at a cellular level. In addition, it helps to regulate hormones like insulin and HGH to make the fat stores in your body more accessible energy sources. The time given to your cells to repair during fasted periods allows cells to remove waste and function optimally. Intermittent fasting allows time for the body to utilize fat as its main source of energy, which means you not only lose weight, but you’ll see an improvement in your overall body composition. Intermittent fasting allows you to maintain muscle mass which speeds up your metabolic rate, while helping you shed fat."

This part was effortless and enjoyable. I had a little trouble getting all my calories in during a shorter eating timeframe (I just wasn't hungry!), but waking up and knowing I was going to fast was good for my mind and soul. It kept me praying, and it cut out my two worst eating habits- sugary coffee in the morning and pointless snacks after the boys' bedtime. 

4. Exercise. The workouts come with the program and you can choose beginner, home, or gym. They are scheduled with your carb cycling days (sprints on low carb days, strength training on normal days) to help achieve the best results. I loved every one of them... and also loved the two rest days (Friday and Sunday). Ha!

I used a few different dumbbell sizes and tennis shoes. That's it! 

I think the biggest question people have is what do you eat? I originally tried to find lots of peoples' meal plans and then realized I was over complicating it. There's no need to find lots of low carb meals. On those days (Monday and Tuesday) I ate my morning smoothie with half a banana instead of a whole one, a big salad for lunch with plenty of protein fat like two hard boiled eggs, bacon, cheese, olives, nuts etc, and a dinner that included meat + veggies. Some veggies are higher in carbs so we avoided those and focused on ones like broccoli. If my family was eating something that called for rice, I'd use riced cauliflower instead. 

While I wouldn't like to eat low carb all the time, it was easy to do just two days out of the week and I felt great! I was also able to enjoy a piece of dark chocolate or a peanut butter cup "fat bomb" after dinner (so good!). 

M/T Sample Day

Breakfast: Protein Smoothie with half a banana

Lunch: Salad with lots of protein and healthy fat or scrambled eggs and chicken sausage

Dinner: Steak, broccoli, and roasted carrots or tacos

Snack: Fat bomb

On all the other days, you eat "normal macro" or "low macro" meaning you follow your My Fitness Pal guidelines or cut them by 25% on the two days you aren't exercising (Friday and Sunday). I ate my morning smoothie with a full banana (to get more carbs in- you really need a lot on normal days!) and enjoyed sandwiches or sweet potato bowls for lunch, big bowls of fruit and yogurt with honey for snack, and basically anything we wanted for dinner-- I just watched how much fat I was eating, which was most often my downfall.

W-S Sample Day

Breakfast: Protein Smoothie with whole banana or english muffin with jelly and/or peanut butter, eggs, and fruit

Lunch: Big bowl of fruit, yogurt, honey, peanut butter, and granola or a sandwich with veggies and ranch/hummus, or a sweet potato, rice, fried egg bowl

Dinner: Basically anything, I just had to watch the fat content (like no baked potato with a ton of butter, cheese, and sour cream. Ha!) See this post for how I meal plan and choose our dinners.

Kelly, my instructor, was also so great at sharing her Pinterest boards with recipes, meal plans for the weak, Costco and Alid shopping trips, etc. I felt more than equipped to find foods/recipes that not only fit the plan for me but that our whole family would eat. 


Overall, I'd 100% recommend this program and am so glad I stumbled across it. 

$199 gets you the 7 week program with coaching from your trainer (mine is Kelly Stewart- she's awesome), accountability and encouragement from a small private FB group of women doing this with you (they even prayed for me when I got sick), and daily workout plans. It was more than worth it for those 7 weeks, but now I also have a huge workout plan I can continue to follow, and tons of favorite recipes. 

 Kelly's next round starts July 15th. If you'd like to feel freedom from food, get control of eating habits, or have accountability as you begin exercising I can't recommend this more. 

Click here to sign up and/or to read more and see lots of FAQs. I'll also talk about it on my Instagram stories and save them to my highlights!

Continue reading
How we meal plan (and your ideas, too!)

Over the years, I've found that meal planning is easiest for my family when I choose a theme for each night of the week. It limits my choices, preventing me from decision fatigue, and also lets my family know what to expect. 

This Summer, our schedule looks like this: 

M: Grill Night- usually chicken or steak with veggies and brown rice 

T: Mexican Night- tacos, quesadillas, burrito bowls with chips and salsa or guacamole, rice, and/or a corn dish 

W: Pasta Night- spaghetti or some other pasta with added chicken and a salad

Th: Breakfast Night- eggs, bacon, and waffles, biscuits, french toast, etc

F: Leftovers or Pizza

S: Out- either our date night or a family night to chipotle

S: Hotdogs from church. Alternative is sandwiches. 

As the seasons change, we'll adjust this to be more appropriate!


I asked you all on Instagram for some other night themes; here's a big list for us to all reference!

  • Grill 
  • Mexican
  • Pasta
  • Italian
  • Breakfast
  • Leftovers
  • Pizza
  • Sandwiches
  • Salad
  • One Sheet Pan
  • Crock Pot/ Instant Pot
  • Soup
  • Casserole
  • Asian
  • Bowl Dinner
  • Fish
  • Panini
  • Baked Potato Bar
  • Meatless Meal
  • "Hodge Podge" where you throw it all together from what you have
  • Charcuterie Board (meat, cheese, fruit, nuts, veggies) on a warm night! 
  • Different ethnicity every week to teach children about a different culture 
Continue reading
Capsule Wardrobe: How & Why I do It


I don't drink alcohol, in part, because addiction runs viciously through my veins. For years, I fought a sugar addiction and just when I thought I had it mastered (face palm) God showed me a new one: Add to cart, add to cart, add to cart. An addiction to new, to the anticipation of something fun in the mail, to fleeting sparkle this world has to offer.

And so one April I gave up buying clothes for the month. It sounded easy, but proved to be embarrassingly hard, and left me changed. I've been trying out this "capsule wardrobe" idea for the last year, not to limit the amount of clothes I have in my closet, but to limit the amount of impulse buys I purchase for a quick burst of joy.

It's been challenging and rewarding and really really sweet. God is so ready to step in with his deep fulfillment as soon as we leave room, y'all.

What I do:

1. As we're exiting a season, the first thing I do is go through my clothes to remove anything I didn't wear or don't see myself wearing again. Pilling sweaters, jeans I couldn't sit in (because please), cute jackets I never once put on, etc. I also make a mental note of what worked and didn't work this season. Stretchy jeans and warm tops were a win, cardigans without buttons actually got in my way. I'll remember this for next year. Check.

2. Then I look at my clothes for the upcoming season. Are there items I know I won't wear? (Donate). What gaps do I realistically have?

We seem to have a tendency to buy clothes for an imaginary life. For example: "I'll wear this at Spring weddings or out walking on the beach!” Which is great if you actually have weddings to go to this Spring or plan to be walking out on the beach frequently. But for me, I may attend one wedding? And we have a total of 7 beach days planned this year. So one appropriate outfit will do it :)

3. With my actual clothing gaps, I make a list and set out to find those items within a week or two. My goal with a capsule wardrobe isn't to have this tiny little closet where only 31 pieces are allowed; it's to cut myself off from freely purchasing whenever the urge strikes. 

So March 1-15 I can grab what I need for Spring. And then, unless something vital rips over the next few months, no more clothing purchases. Which is so freeing! I don't need to glance at Target's new pieces, I don't need to pursue fashion bloggers Instagram accounts, which constantly beckon me to buy more.

I. Am. Fine. 

My Seasons: 

Spring- March through May. I focus on tees, loose bottoms (linen pants are a favorite of mine), dresses, and warm weather shoes. 

Summer- June through August. I focus on tanks, shorts, and bathing suits.  

Fall- September through November. I focus on long sleeved tops, jeans, and cold weather shoes. 

Winter- December through February. I focus on sweaters, outerwear, and things like leggings.

Where I shop:

I get 99% of my clothes from one of two places.

The first is ThredUP. I love ThredUP for a few reasons (not sponsored, by the way). 

I value ethical shopping, but I have a hard time finding companies within my price range or style. So an alternative way for me to ethically shop is to buy secondhand. I used to shop at Goodwill, but this isn’t practical with two little ones and honestly, it was getting harder for me to find pieces I really loved there.

But on ThredUp I can search specific brands I know I love, and then narrow down by item type, color, size, price, etc. It makes the search really easy! "Madewell chambray tank." Check! 

Prices are usually a good deal, though occasionally I’ll think “I could definitely get this item for less money at the store on a big sale.” But then, of course, it wouldn't be secondhand :)

I’ve learned that it’s just not worth it to keep pieces I don’t love so when my products come, I try them on with a critical eye. If it isn’t a 100% fit, back it goes. They now have a $2 restocking fee per item, but that’s worth it for me not to have an item hanging in my closet I’m not ever going to enjoy wearing. Just this month I ordered 6 things and returned 2 because they weren't perfect. 

Overall, it's a great experience. I definitely recommend at least browsing if you haven't before! 

Pro tip: If you like an item, add it to your cart ASAP and then decide if you want to buy. Items can stay in your cart for 24 hours before someone else has a chance to snag it! 


The second place I shop is an online clothing boutique called August Cloth.

I originally began shopping from August Cloth because my friend, Crystal, started the company. And I'm always going to support my friends :) But I quickly saw the value of buying from a clothing boutique vs a big box store.

For one, the clothes are beautifully hand picked by one girl. If I like the first five things she releases, I'm probably going to like it all because the same eye is approving of and offering the items. It’s like a specially curated closet to choose from!

She's a real life mom of three (almost four!), business owner, wife, church goer etc. Her life looks like mine in many ways so we’re looking for the same type of clothes. Easy, modest, versatile, comfortable, cute. I don't have to sift through a lot to find a winner... I love almost everything. 

Additionally, the clothes are just a higher quality than what I was grabbing from Target or Old Navy. Their detailing is just a little extra, the materials are luxurious, and the fit is more flattering. People always comment when I wear a top from August Cloth. "That sweater is adorable, where is it from?" Because the products are noticeably special. And if I'm not going to be shopping all year long, I want my buys to feel like wins. 

Bonus: Everything comes packaged in a way that makes me feel special. The whole experience feels like a treat and I love knowing my purchases are supporting a family running this Kingdom race as hard as they can! 


Okay, one more extra place I shop... Dear Mushka. Ha! But truly, I only choose and design tees for the shop that I actually want to wear. I always make an extra for myself; they layer well and point me back to Jesus. 

Want to hear me talk more about this? Follow along on Instastories where I'll show you my Spring picks! 

Continue reading
Five Quotes I Find Myself Thinking on Weekly

1. I refuse to let my public passion exceed my private devotion. --Unknown

I heard Francis Chan say this, quoting someone else, and it immediately struck my heart. As a Christian business owner who frequently talks about Christ, spiritual disciplines, and my faith online it's something I have to be extra aware of. I never want to put on a passionate outward display while hosting a careless, hypocritical heart. As Jesus said: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness." (Matthew 23:27)

2. How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. --Annie Dillard

This quote circles my mind as I decide how to live my days intentionally, focusing on God's Kingdom instead of my own. Our time can slip away from us if we aren't careful; I don't want to get to the end of my life and wonder why I never gave sacrificially, talked about Christ with others, loved my neighbors fiercely, etc. 

Isaiah 32:8 says that nobel people (children of God!) make nobel plans and stand firm in those plans. I want to plan my days so that they work together towards a nobel, Kingdom-cultivating life. 

3. We won't be distracted by comparison if we're captivated by purpose --Bob Goff

God used this quote to remove my insecurities as I launched Dear Mushka and navigated the messy world of social media. Matthew 28:19 says that my purpose is to make disciples. Isaiah 43:6-7 says that I am made to glorify God. I can echo Paul (in Philippians 1:20) in asking that my whole life's purpose be to magnify Jesus Christ. 

And so when the Holy Spirit reminds my soul of its purpose (again and again) the comparison floats away. 

4.Think of eternity...and live backwards from that. --Ann Voskamp 

Or as Johnathan Edwards said: "Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs!" 

When I set my eyes and mind on things above, not on earthy things (Colossians 3:2), I'm able to live eternity focused. I'm more generous; it's God's money, anyway. I'm more bold; my life is a quick breeze. I'm more hopeful; Jesus is preparing a place for me! Eternity first, this world second.

5. How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure... I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no power, no wisdom; But I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection. --Stuart Townend 

How Deep the Father's Love for Us has been a favorite hymn of mine since I was a little girl. When I am at my lowest, its because I've forgotten how loved I am by the triune God; it's because I've focused on my wretchedness instead of on His great mercy & grace. Praise God for His love, let it be the only thing I boast in. 

Continue reading

Not to be dramatic, but this protein smoothie changed my life. 

(Okay, a little dramatic.)

But truly-- learning the importance of protein, fiber, and greens in the morning... and learning to remove the carbohydrates that immediately turn to sugar... has allowed me to feel full & satisfied until lunch time everyday. 

I make this while my kids are eating breakfast and put it in the fridge until I'm hungry. Oftentimes, it keeps me full until early afternoon. 


Here's how I make mine currently, but feel free to substitute as you wish. (I used to add the PB Fit powder and an avocado which is why it's pictured. I don't right now.)


· 2 scoops protein powder (I love the taste of this one-- not protein powder-y at all)

· I scoop collagen powder (I truly see a different in my joints when I use this. Crazy!)

· a tbsp(ish) ground flax powder (the fiber helps break everything down in your body)

· a handful of spinach or kale (I keep mine in the freezer so it never goes bad)

· half of a frozen banana 

· a handful of frozen riced cauliflower

· 1.5 cups milk

· my Mix-Her packets (I use her greens and her pleasure)

To Make: 

· Add everything to your blender and mix! 

Note: We've had this blender for five years and love it. Our jar broke once and they replaced it, no questions asked. It's a little more pricey, but it's made 2 smoothies for our family every morning without problem. We've gotten our money's worth! 


Continue reading

C.S. Lewis said "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one." And so, a few silly facts about myself so you can know that the girl behind this brand is just as flawed & ridiculous as you. I'm so glad we're friends. xx 

  1. My full name is Katie Evelyn Lewis. My parents found the name Katie in Gone with the Wind [Katie Scarlett O'Hara], and I secretly loved how common the name was because it meant I never stood out. Ha! Quiet introvert over here. But saying I was "Katie D. ...yep with a K and an ie" my whole school career got a little old, I admit. 
  2. But also, I always wished my name was Taylor. If we have a girl, she'll probably end up with a "boy" name because I still think they're the cutest. 
  3. And you should also know that I've never actually seen Gone with the Wind. Isn't it like four hours long? #nope
  4. Speaking of... I would be 100% okay without a TV. Except during the Summer Olympics because hello, gymnastics. But as it stands, we have one, and Robert and I watch a show together every evening-- right now it's The Great British Baking Show! If you haven't watched it, you must. The happiest cooking competition. And their adorable accents!
  5. I'd rather read in the evenings, and usually sneak away to do so while Robert watches a little of something else. According to Goodreads, I've read 23 books this year which is maybe a little low but alas, time is limited and motherhood. 
  6. I have lived in the same city basically my whole life. I "went away" to college-- 30 minutes down the road-- and came back after marriage because no where else seemed as wonderful and it always felt silly to move away just to move away?
  7. BUT. If I could live anywhere else in the country, I'd choose New York City. Robert would never, but the history & culture is so rich. I'm a little obsessed.
  8. If I hadn't studied Psychology in school, I would have studied graphic design and marketing. Ah, how those skills would be helpful now! But at the time, I had no clue Dear Mushka would be a thing and how the brain works is incredibly fascinating. Of course, I graduated, did the math, and realized I'd be ready to have kids by the time I finished my masters + doctorate so that was enough of that. [Side note, anyone else wish they'd had better counseling to help figure this stage of life out? I was way too young to be making life decisions!]
  9. Instead, I graduated, got married, and worked at a doctor's office until I called Robert one day and told him I'd quit, I was going to start an Etsy shop. Perhaps a different approach would have been better? Ha! But he was so supportive, and somehow I just knew it was the right next step. Clearly :)
  10. My mom was my best friend until her death in 2010. I haven't told her story on a public platform in a long time, but one day I will. Suffice it to say, mental illness is scary & I constantly praise God for healing her sweet body in Heaven. Until we meet again, my dear Mama. xx
  11. I have omphalophobia, the fear of bellybuttons. Not my own, so much, but watching other people touch theirs gives me the serious creeps and makes me want to gag. WHY? I acknowledge that it's so dumb, but I can't help it! Also, three year olds touch their belly buttons a lot FYI. 
  12. I cannot spell to save my life. I never remember which letters are doubled in words like accommodate and recommend and embarrass. You know I had to spellcheck those just now. 
  13. But pet peeve: the phrase "I could care less". It's couldn't! Could doesn't even make sense. [But don't worry, chewing with your mouth open or smacking your gum doesn't bother me one bit.]
  14. I scoffed at people who said running could be fun until I actually set out to run three miles at a time a few years ago. I couldn't even run .25 a mile without stopping at first, but now I run 3-4 miles a few times a week. And it's fun! What in the world. I just signed up for my first 1/2 marathon!
  15. My biggest regret is not speaking up in a "world religions" class I took in college. People had Christianity all wrong, seeing it as a religion of laws instead of love, and I sat back and watched them walk away with the wrong impression because I was too nervous to speak in front of 50 classmates or whatever. I think, in part, it is fuel for my fire as I store scripture deep in my mind-- I want it to be there when I need it again! 
  16. I cannot think of one living celebrity whose autograph or photo I would like to have. But you better believe I'm calling dibs on time with women like Elisabeth Elliot & Corrie ten Boom in Heaven!
  17. Okay, but I did talk to Taylor Swift for a second once here in Nashville. And Daniel Radcliffe [Harry Potter] said "Hi" to me after his Broadway play performance in NY one year. He's very little!
  18. If I'm feeling completely uninspired, I usually declutter a space in our home. So when it's time to plan a new Dear Mushka line, watch out junk drawer and closet! Something about tossing out the old and making visual space helps open up my mind? 
  19. If I had 12 hours to myself, I'd probably go for a long run. Actually dry my hair. Get lost in the Word instead of anticipating my boys' wakeup time. Walk the streets of Downtown Franklin freely, going in every store. Get a massage. Take a nap. Pray & worship aloud. Eat all of a meal without sharing with little hands ;) 
  20. Speaking of food, tacos for life. Or fajitas. Or nachos. I don't discriminate. Plus some chips & guac. And ice cream with chunks of cookie dough for dessert!
  21. My most repeated Bible verses: "You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." [Isaiah 26:3] and "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." [Psalm 16:11]
  22. The quote that has most helped me in my life: "We won't be distracted by comparison if we're captivated with purpose." -Bob Goff. The Lord really used those words to settle my heart into what HE had called me to do and I was immediately able to set aside extra pressures from the world.
  23. My favorite season is, without a doubt, Summer. I love how nonchalant it is, with its lazy mornings and easy meals and firefly catching evenings. I love everything about it. Except the mosquitos, I suppose. It's good for my control-loving heart. 
  24. My favorite piece of clothing is an old denim button down shirt from Old Navy. It's not fancy and actually, the sleeves are too short. But it's just the right weight and color, and every time I try on a replacement something just isn't right.
  25. Second place: My Birkenstocks. I've had them a few years now and will buy the exact same pair when they bite the dust. So comfortable and not tooo ugly, I say. 
  26. This book on the Enneagram is my go-to marriage gift because it was so incredibly helpful for me and Robert. Nine over here! 
  27. Lord willing, I have 5-6 more decades of life to live; I'm dedicating my 30s to the discipleship of women God has placed in my life. This Fall, I'm leading my first group and can't wait to teach on prayer, how to read the bible, etc. Gosh, sometimes I'm in awe that God uses us to point others to Him. 
  28. One time in a rain storm, my car spun across four lanes of traffic on the interstate, straight to the median on the other side. Miraculously [truly] I didn't get hit and was able to just merge back onto the road. And then I saw a car burst into flames while it was in motion! So anyway, I don't love driving and will never offer to drive for someone else. But I'll pay for your gas and buy you car candies! 
  29. I cannot whistle. I cannot do the splits [please, as if]. I cannot dance. I cannot sing. I cannot raise one eyebrow. I cannot tie a cherry stem with my tongue. How do people do all of these things?! 
  30.  Whoops, I made it to the end without mentioning our kids. We have two boys, 3 & 1, both adopted. And the truth is, motherhood is exhausting right now. I have no earthly idea how to parent siblings who bicker and take toys and hit! But of course, in our weakness He is strong & I feel closer than ever to the Lord as I [constantly] call on Him for wisdom. One day at a time, yes? I remember fighting with my siblings, we made it out alright. Ish. 

And now you. What are we twinsies on? xx

Continue reading