Karen's Essentials

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Author, Kim Cash Tate

If I Believe by Kim Cash Tate

Though I Stumble By Kim Cash Tate




How did you get started writing?

I’ve always loved writing even as a teen when I would write poems and original song lyrics. And as an attorney, I had to write briefs to the court, complaints, memos and such, so I was always writing something. But when I was on maternity leave with my first child, I considered leaving the practice of law to start a home based business. I kept praying about what business I should start, and one day at church God spoke to me so clearly that what He wanted me to do was to write a book about my spiritual journey. I was floored. A book, Lord? Really? This was 1996, way before Google, so I drove to Barnes & Noble to get a book so I could learn how in the world one goes from idea to book proposal to contract. God led me every step of the way, though. He blessed me to get an agent and a contract, and my first book was published in 1999. That’s how my writing journey started.

When did you get started?

I began working on the book proposal in late 1996 into 1997, so wow twenty years ago! That’s amazing. But by the time that first book was published, I had two little ones and soon left the practice of law. Writing moved to the back burner as my time filled with taking care of them. My next book wasn’t published until 2008, which was another God-surprise-He moved me to write a novel. So I kind of started twice LOL.

What Inspires you?

The Lord inspires me daily. My daily routine most mornings is working out on the treadmill, which is when I alternate between memorizing scripture and listening to praise music. Then afterward, I spend time studying the word of God. So throughout the day, He’s speaking to my heart about so much. It truly feels like an ongoing dialogue. With respect to writing, if Im in the flow of a story, I’m constantly asking Him what’s next. Where am I going with this? How will he or she be transformed in this? And an entire scene will unfold as I’m driving or washing the dishes. I’ve actually raced to write something down at a red light so I don’t forget it lol. But God shows up like that all the time. He leads me where I need to go, and all I can do is praise Him.

How do you handle work life balance?

I left the practice of law years ago, so I haven’t had to balance work, But we homeschooled for years, so that was what I had to balance. Often the only time I could dedicate to writing was early mornings. And I would get frustrated sometimes because I was itching to get back to the story but I had to do math problems or a science experiment. The Lord was constantly dealing with me in learning to trust Him with the season I was in. I look back now and wonder how I wrote several books during that time. As of this year, both of my kids are in college, so I’m enjoying a new season.

What are your goals as a writer?

I love writing novels that entertain. But my primary goal is to write stories that edify and encourage, and ultimately draw people closer to the Lord.

Any community connections (volunteering etc., in your community)?

None at this time, other than my local church.

What new projects are you working on?

I’m working on Book #3 in my Promises of God series. I’m also doing a weekly Bible study on First Samuel on YouTube.

What is your latest project?

My latest book is If I Believe, which is Book #2 in the Promises of God series.

Where can we find you on social media?







Kim’s books are sold at the following online retailers: Amazon, Christinbook.com, Discovery House and Barnes & Noble





Play! By Sephora Box September 2017 is HERE! There are a few products I am really excited to try the DevaCurl Melt Into Moisture deep conditioner and the Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow (brow gel).

Play! By Sephora September 2017

DevaCurl Melt Into Moisture $36 full sized

DevaCurl Melt Into Moisture $36 deep-conditioning mask for curly or wavy hair and infuses it with moisture for soft, frizz-free hair. The only DevaCurl products that work for me are Decadence No-Poo, One Condition and the DevaCurl Buildup Buster (I will link my review on the buildup buster). The DC has great ingredients unfortunately the sample is only 1.5 ounces  I will test on  a small section of hair and give a review. The full size is $36 for 8 ounces which is pretty expensive. I have  really great deep conditioners in my rotation for a fraction of the cost. Mielle organics deep conditioner is one of my favorites I will link that review as well. http://www.sephora.com

Deva Curl Buildup Buster Micellar Water Cleansing Serum Review

Review Mielle Organics Babassu Oil Mint Deep Conditioner


Ciate London Liquid Velvet Liquid Lipstick in Diva $19

Ciate London Liquid Veltvet in Diva $19, claims this liquid lippie is an ultra-moisturizing lip formula, the shade is a berry shade. I am a matte liquid lip girl (as long as the formula is drying). The color is so pretty a very wearable berry red but I don’t do red lips; I have tried every shade of red and none of them work on me. Side note I just gave away at least 12 variations of red lipstick to a dear friend no more red for me! http://www.sephora.com

Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil $10

Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil in Black Lace $10, claims to be a creamy, easy-to-apply pencil with a long-lasting, waterproof formula that glides on smoothly. I don’t normally use black eyeliner; I think black is too harsh on mature women (on this mature woman anyway). I do occasionally use black eyeliner on my upper water line (where the liner is undetectable) to make my lashes appear thicker. Waterproof eye makeup I avoid because it’s usually a pain to remove. The formula glides across the skin and is very smooth and creamy ( swatched on the back of my hand) I will keep you posted on its wear time and how it easily it removes from my eyes. http://www.sephora.com


Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream 1.6 ounces $45

Fresh Youth Preserve Face Cream $45 is a light weight daily cream deeply moisturizes to help prevent visible signs of aging. I love trying new skin care. The formula is light weight that seeps right into the skin ( I rubbed a little on the back of my hand) I will try it tonight on my face.



Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow $24

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel in Deep $24 for full sized.  Benefit claims Gimme Brow is a volumizing, water-resistant fiber gel that mimics the look of real hair to create thick, lush-looking brows. I have worn this brow gel for the last few days and I love it. The brush is really small so you don’t get the product on your skin, the fibers stay in place and really fill in any sparse areas. The gel comes in 3 shades Deep-dark brown to black (cool under tone), Light-platinum to light blonde (cool under tone), Medium-golden to medium brown (warm under tones). I was sent the Deep color which was too dark I will definitely purchase a lighter shade once I use up my current brow products.  http://www.sephora.com


Living Proof Nourishing Oil $38

Living Proof Nourishing oil $38 3.4 ounces, a nourishing blend that mimics your hair’s natural oils for smooth, shiny, healthy and hydrated-feeling strands. Living Proof isn’t a brand that has really been on my radar they do have a range for curly hair but it doesn’t really appeal to me. I will try this oil on my ends it’s so expensive even if it knocks my socks off I won’t be purchasing a full size.  http://www.sephora.com

This month’s box was just okay for me not because of the products themselves but the color selections (red lipstick and black eyeliner) not my thing. I was also disappointed that the box didn’t have a fragrance this month!

Do you wear bold lip? What is your go to lip color? Do you wear eyeliner?


Khylah Settle (Model, Actress)

How did you get started (acting and modeling)?

I grew up taking ballet, tap and jazz and performed in school plays all the way through high school. I loved it, but somehow talked myself out of majoring in the Fine Arts in college. I was afraid. So I majored in Communications and dabbled in dance and performing on the side. At 30, I gathered the courage to submit my photos to an acting manager. I was signed not long after.

What Inspires you?

Anyone who is passionate about their craft, hobby, children etc., is an inspiration, people who tell fear where to go and how to get there truly inspire me to do the same.

How do you handle work life balance?

This is a great question, especially considering how often the target moves. As soon as I get into a flow, there is another curve ball. Honestly, I pray that God gives me the strength to get from one day to the next. We also enlist the help of family members to pinch hit. It truly takes a village. I’m just reaching a point where I truly understand the need for fun and a little pampering. I deserve it!

What are your goals for your acting and modeling career? 

I would love to get to a place where I could eliminate my 9-5. We have 3 children in school, so I need to be mindful of our family obligations and finances. I still have a career in communications, so I will consider myself a successful actress and model, once I can sustain regular work and income. I’m planting seeds, so we are gonna let God handle the timing.

My job is to be prepared for opportunities that arise. I’ve been very lucky to work for people who encourage my acting and modeling and get a kick out of seeing my commercials and print work. I can’t complain.

Are there any community connections and advice that you would like to share?

If people are interested in acting, read up on the craft, study, talk to other actors. Take some improv classes or acting classes. Don’t lose your life savings investing in expensive photos or classes all upfront. Get your feet wet first. Use money from jobs to reinvest in your craft. The acting community is a truly wonderful group of people especially here in the D.C. metro. We are each other’s biggest fans and cheer each other’s victories. Also, understand that time is valuable. When you ask someone for their advice, know that many, many people ask those same questions. Be mindful of their time. I said I was gonna start charging people lol!

What new projects are you working on?

I have an on-camera industrial project coming up. I’ve done a number of corporate training videos and informative industrials. I have a thing for teleprompter work. It’s easy and I play a pretty good “corporate executive” really well LOL! I also have a voice over project in the works. Keep em coming!

What’s next for you?

I did a short film a few months back that just won an award at a Christian Film Festival. If I had my druthers, filming the feature length version would be NEXT! Aside from that, just maintaining a functioning home with a husband, 3 children and careers is enough.



Khylah Settle

Khylah Settle

Khylah Settle

Where can we find you?

You can find me on Instagram, FaceBook and YouTube



YouTube- Khylah Settle


Sheri Hairston of Warm Touches

How did you get started in design?

As I think back to my childhood, I used to cut out pictures of furniture pieces for paper doll houses and design Barbie spaces using tissues boxes and other found items. Design was always a part of my imaginative play. I’ve always had a sense of how I would make a space cozy and  pretty. I practiced with my rooms in the dorm and won three “Ideal Room Contests” in college. It was a sign of a growing passion. Getting married young and crafting home in my early 20’s also developed my skills, since it was my primary workplace, being a mom of 4 children and serving alongside my husband in ministry.

How long have you been in business?

Warm Touches is now in its second year of business. When my last child left for college, my season of daily activities changed. I wanted to pursue my passion and fill my extra time with something “just for me” in phase 2 of my adult life. After years of hearing “Girl, you should go into business. “I’d pay for these services!” I decided to “dust off an old ambition” and go for it.

Why do you love doing what you do?

Expressing creativity brings me great joy! My goal is to design spaces that are harmonious and functional, meeting the specific taste and anticipated needs of my client. When my client breathes a deep sigh of satisfaction and they adore their space, I feel doubly blessed.

What Inspires you? Do your clients have a concept and you then go from there?

Usually they do have a concept or theme in mind. Sometimes it’s a color scheme or inspiration piece of furniture or art. I interview them and get a feel for what they are trying to achieve, and then my juices can begin to flow. Sometimes they are clueless, so I help them find what speaks to them and we create a plan from there.

This past year, for example, I completed my first overseas project. My clients came with before pictures of their recently purchased vacation condo, but felt unsure about where to begin. We explored their favorite colors, what mood they wanted the space to express, and reviewed samples of furniture pieces they liked. Then, I helped curate and coordinate the renovation of the space. It was major fun!

How does it all come together?

It begins with a client interview, assessment of the space, discussing the concept for an event. Then I research extensively before bringing a thoughtful plan for the client’s approval.

How do you handle work-life balance?

I prioritize; I center through my relationship with God and a strong prayer life. Then my family and self care come next. Which means my marriage needs, the needs of my family, and the things I need to be refreshed and well. Everything else has to fit in afterwards.

For example, in my marriage, we decided to spend time together daily, weekly monthly and yearly. So we might have “coffee&connect” daily, date night weekly, go to a concert or event once a month and go away together once a year. I’ll look at my calendar to make sure that projects and family events don’t coincide, then plan accordingly.

I joke with my kids that I do one hard thing a day. Truly it means I’ve developed a rhythm of doing hard work then taking time to rest and refresh myself. I’m blessed that I find my job rejuvenating because it’s what I love.

What are your goals for Warm Touches?

My tag line is “Making every space Warm and Welcoming…and every occasion a treasured memory.” I want people to experience home as an absolute delight where every need is thoughtfully anticipated. If you need a spot for you mug, there it is. If you are chilly, there is a cozy throw in a basket at your side. I also want people to leave parties feeling celebrated and having made lifelong memories. To that end, I’m always developing my craft. I’m completing a professional program at the New York Institute of Design, and look forward to what project doors will open for Warm Touches. Also, I’m broadening my network with fellow professionals with whom I can partner future projects.

What are your community connections?

I’m always on the look out for trustworthy partners like painters, contractors, handymen, upholsterers, etc. I shop on line, at showrooms, antique shops, flea markets, yard sales and my local favorites like HomeGoods and Pier One.

What new projects are you working on? 

It seems like it’s been a season of parties, showers and weddings; all celebrations that I love, cause I LOVE a party! This month, however, we’re working on a mid-century modern downtown condo design for a young professional woman and a “sweet pumpkin” Fall wedding in Atlanta, GA.

What’s next for you? 

Building partnerships, expanding connections, pursuing word of mouth recommendations, and ensuring happy satisfied clients!

Warm Touches Before and After

Warm Touches


Where can we find you on social media? 




Today is a first of a new series on women Doing What You Love. I had this idea to feature women on my blog that are doing what they love; in varied fields, well known best selling authors, business owners, actors, models, full-time homemakers. I want to celebrate women that are often doing what they love while working inside and outside of the home, raising children, caring for aging parents but also carving out time for themselves. I hope you enjoy this series as much I have learning about these incredible women! If you or someone you know would like to be featured email me (see the about page).

My first guest is Ms. Kiva Slade of Kiva Slade Designs. Please make Kiva feel welcome; by commenting or asking her questions. Check out Kiva’s Etsy shop link below.

Kiva Slade of Kiva Slade Designs


 How did you get started making jewelry? 

I’ve always had my own style and can do attitude, whether it was making new clothes for my Barbie doll or deciding to use a slip as the pattern for a dress to my cousin’s wedding. Did I mention that I made that decision on the day of the wedding and yes wore the dress to the wedding! My desire to be different combined with my can do attitude YET being on a fixed or limited budget meant that I needed to thrift and make my own items.

When did you get started?

My first foray into jewelry making began in 1993. While working in Georgetown (DC), I ventured into a bead store with the intention of creating a masterpiece. I purchased beads, wire, pliers and a few other items and did make what I thought was a masterpiece. I made a few other items but US Airways created a major detour in my jewelry making journey by losing my luggage on a trip to Florida with all my supplies! It wasn’t until 2005 that I pursued jewelry again and once again, I started with beads and stringing. In 2008 , I took a metalsmith class at a jewelry store in Annapolis and fell in love with the transformation process of metal, the tools and fire didn’t hurt either. Since that time, I primarily work with silver and copper metals but I still incorporate beads into some of my designs.

What do you love about  being creative?

The freedom…whether it is taking a piece of raw material like a piece of cooper sheet and knowing that I can transform that flat piece of metal into something that now has form, shape and substance.

What Inspires you?

Everything…when we take the time to look around, inspiration is truly everywhere. Nature is a huge source of inspiration-flowers, leaves, landscapes, clouds, etc., but I also love patterns, lines, and color. I often stare at buildings , carpet, wrought ironwork, wallpaper, flower arrangements and more in some of the oddest places. I’ve been known to stop and take pictures of things that speak to me.

Do you see something that then makes you want to create?

Quite often…I try to keep a sketchbook with me so I am ready if something strikes my fancy. The funny thing about the creative process and working with metal is that what you see and conceive on paper may not be your end result. Sometimes during the process, I am moved to change something from the original design but also there are times that the materials cause me to make tweaks.

How do you handle work life balance?

If I am honest, not very well. There are times I tend to swing further in one direction than the other and then back again. This summer I have been learning more about balance, timing and patience. The Lord has been reminding me what my current “job” is and where my focus should be but He has also been showing me that when I do what He asks, He opens doors that I didn’t even know existed.

What are your goals for your business?

Right now, my goals are small in the sense that I want to be able to have a creative outlet. In the future, It is my hope to grow my business to the point that it not only provides me with creative fulfillment but also steady supplemental income for my family.

How does your family feel about you being in business? Are they supportive?

As a whole, my family is quite supportive. Individually, my husband is supportive because he knows that my business provides me with a needed creative outlet in the midst of being a wife, mom and homeschooling existence. My kids are also supportive and I love that what I do allows them to play an active role. They help with many aspects-packaging, mailing, pictures, booth set up, customer relations at shows and more. My venture has allowed them the opportunity to see what is involved in running their own business if even on a small scale.

Do you have any community connections through your business or personally?

I’ve just started working on establishing community connections. In the beginning, my focus was my online presence but it is easy to get lost in the jewelry maker crowd on Etsy. In November 2016, I ventured out of my comfort zone and did a local show followed by another in December. Those have been great opportunities for me to meet others that are local.

What new projects are you working on?

I have plans to start incorporating additional items and I’m starting with clutch bags and scarves. I’ve sewn longer than I’ve made jewelry and I find that I need to have a variety in my creative pursuits. The end goal is more accessories because jewelry isn’t the only way to give us some extra sparkle.

What’s next for you?

A huge Christmas show at St. Mary’s of the Assumption school (Upper Marlboro, Maryland) on December 2,2017. I did this show last December but they made changes for this year to make it a juried show and I was excited to be chosen as a vendor out of more than 300 applicants. I’ve been asked to consider a home show, which I did many years ago, and may think of that but would like to do it with other makers so shoppers have some variety.



Kiva Slade Designs

Kiva Slade Designs

Kiva Slade Designs



Where can we find you on social media?

First place is my Etsy shop


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