Speakers

Speaker line up for 2019 

At Becoming, we are so privileged to have so many women share their heart on a variety of topics. This year we have added a number of new faces to the agenda. Women who bring even more passion to the art of becoming more.

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Founder and Host: For the last decade, Jen Schmidt has been encouraging, challenging, and cheering on women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of their everyday lives on her popular lifestyle blog, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.
With a variety of topics from easy dinner ideas and personal finance to leaving a legacy, Jen equips others to live life to its fullest, reminding them it’s the little things that really are the big things in life.
A popular speaker, blogger and founder/host of the annual
Becoming Conference, Jen shares with humor and authenticity as she

invites others to join her on this bumpy, beautiful life journey. Her practical lifestyle ideas encourage others to save money where they can, so they can spend, share, and give, on what’s important.

Jen loves time with her family, but she regularly dreams about a clean house, meal planning,  DIYing, thrift store hunting, or the next guests who might pop in for a visit.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, a few too
many animals and an available sofa for anyone who needs it.

Read about her heartbeat for everyday hospitality in her new book Just Open the Door.

 

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2019 Co-host: KariAnne Wood writes the decorating and lifestyle blog Thistlewood Farms from her project-filled historic home in Dallas, Texas. She recently followed God’s call and jumped back “home” with her family from the middle of the country to the busy Dallas Metroplex where she lives with her husband and four children.  If you wander down the tree-lined streets of KariAnne’s beloved hometown, McKinney, you might find her painting mismatched chairs, listening to Christmas carols no matter the season, singing Scripture, or walking hand in hand with her knight-in-shining-armor husband to a Friday night football game. She loves sweet tea with lime, thunderstorms, good books, milk glass, and yard sales, and she is an imperfect DIYer saved by grace.
 
Thistlewood Farms is full of stories of family and faith and features hundreds of the home decor projects KariAnne creates every week for readers. The blog was awarded the Country Living Decorating Blog of the Year, was named one of the Top 10 Decorating Blogs by Better Homes and Gardens, and was voted one of the best DIY blogs of 2015. KariAnne has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Christmas IdeasCountry LivingFlea Market DécorCountry WomanHGTV Magazine, the Cottage Journal, the Chicago TribuneReloved, and This Old House magazine, and on popular websites including the Today show, Better Homes and GardensCountry LivingApartment TherapyGood HousekeepingMediakixBob Vila, and BuzzFeed.

 

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2019 Co-Host: Vanessa Hunt of the lifestyle blog At the Picket Fence come from her home in the beautiful Willamette Valley in Oregon which she shares with her husband of almost 20 years and their two children. While she might not hug trees very often there in the Pacific Northwest, she does take her coffee very seriously. Moving many times throughout her childhood developed in Vanessa a deep sense of the importance of ‘home’ as well as the value of community.

You can come to meet her At the Picket Fence on any given day and know you are not alone on your journey. There you will find simple ideas for your home and encouraging inspiration for your heart. Her deepest desire is to help women to create homes that are peaceful havens. She believes that no matter how busy the schedules, how much homework there is or how many sporting events there are to attend, your home can be filled with peace. There is no magic formula for making this happen but there are simple things every woman can do each day to create calm in the midst of the chaos. Vanessa’s home isn’t perfect, her life isn’t perfect and her family isn’t perfect. But by striving for peace rather than perfection, she’s found a way to enjoy her home almost as much as she enjoys the people with whom she shares it.

Vanessa’s first book ‘Life in Season: Celebrating the Moments That Fill Your Heart and Home’ was released in 2016 and as one reviewer says, “This is one of those books that becomes a trusted friend. One to cozy up to as the seasons change. It’s filled with inspiration–both spiritually & inspiration to make our homes more joy-filled.” 

She is a regular guest on local lifestyle television shows and a sought-after speaker at women’s events around the country. She is also a contributing author at Thrive Moms. ​

Vanessa and her home have​ been featured in magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping and Cottages & Bungalows as well as online at Country Living, HGTV, Redbook, Proverbs 31 Ministries and {in}courage.

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2019 Co-Host: Dana K White is the author of Decluttering at the Speed of Life and How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind.

Dana isn’t your typical decluttering expert. In fact, if you’d told her ten years ago that she’d one day write books about home management, she would have laughed.

And laughed and laughed and laughed. 
In 2009, Dana started an anonymous practice blog called A Slob Comes Clean. She didn’t even tell her husband about it for the first month. She’d always dreamed of being a writer, and this was her desperate attempt to get her house under control while she learned about blogging. Dana soon realized she was not alone in her housekeeping struggles and in her feelings of shame.
Today, Dana shares realistic home management strategies and a message of hope for the hopelessly messy through her books, weekly podcasts and videos.
Dana lives with her husband and three kids just outside of Dallas, Texas.

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Christy from Southern Plate

Coming from a long line of Southern cooks, Christy Jordan was raised to appreciate the real wealth in life : Family, Friends, Faith, and Good Food. She started Southern Plate to share all the great recipes she learned from her Mother and Grandmothers. Her blog then lead to her first book, Southern Plate, Classic Comfort Food That Makes Everyone Feel Like Family, second book “Come Home to Supper” and since has lead to being an editor at Taste of the South Magazine. Christy feels that mealtimes should be important to us all, because it is through our mealtime conversations we learn who we were, where we came from, and what was expected of us as we go out into the world

 

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Maghon Taylor is a sweet Carolina girl on a mission to spread happiness with her handwriting.  She is the owner of All She Wrote Notes, a calligraphy and hand lettering studio in Elon, North Carolina.

She’s been writing pretty letters for as long as she can remember but in 2013 she developed her own shop, style and penmanship party classes that she’s super excited to share with all of you.

Maghon lives by her own life motto “work hard, stay sweet, trust God, love deep.”  Her goal is for God’s joy and love to shine through each and every item that she writes whether it is for a wedding, a celebration, a quote in your home or a sweet note between friends. She believes that pretty handwriting doesn’t need to be saved for a special occasion — that each and every moment is worth celebrating.

Maghon’s work has been featured in countless wedding publications such as Style Me Pretty, Southern Bride and Groom, Wedding Chicks and she was recently named Best Calligrapher in the South by Southern Weddings Magazine.  She has partnered to letter items and host events with national retailers such as Neiman Marcus, West Elm, Anthropologie and Swoozies but she most enjoys doodling around her home with her sweet husband Chris, and their son, Vance.

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Jessica Smartt is passionate about memory-making with your tribe! She loves brainstorming the best kinds of traditions – the ones that bring spark, beauty, and richness to those we love. Jessica studied English at Grove City College, taught middle school literature, and now homeschools her three kids in sunny North Carolina.

She began blogging eight years ago so her brain wouldn’t turn to mush. Jessica loves hiking with kids (mostly), steaming coffee in the afternoon, family bike rides, and anything that’s every been done to a potato. Follow Jessica’s homeschool adventures on Instagram at @jessicasmartt.blogger or Smartter Each Day.

Join her for an entertaining, inspiring, and super-practical pep talk on blessing your people through traditions.

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Amber Tysl is an unlikely business owner (since she quit that major the first day of college orientation), wife to a high school basketball coach, mama to three, a photographer and avid bargain shopper. Sometime in between her first two boys and her little girl, God called her to quit a full-time secure teaching job to take over a thriving photography business even having never taken pictures! Five years later, she has learned ways to capture those intentional moments, found her love of people and telling stories woven together through threads she never imagined.

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Lisa Burns is the founder of the This Pilgrim Life, a food and lifestyle blog centered on enjoying good food and surviving thriving in life with a busy family of a work-at-home husband and five kids 8 and under.
Lisa grew up eating food predominantly out of a can or a box, but discovered a love of feeding people and a passion to learn how to cook from scratch when she got married and started a family. Through much trial and error, she now counts the freedom and satisfaction of cooking and baking from a handful of whole ingredients among her favorite pastimes.
When Lisa isn’t busy chasing toddlers, folding yet another load of laundry, or doing school at the dining room table, you can often find her doing live cooking demos from her kitchen or writing up a new tasty recipe for the blog.
Lisa’s first cookbook, Family Meals From Scratch in Your Instant Pot, releases this May and is packed full of simple, quick and easy recipes to help you put your Instant Pot to use at all times of the day.
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Angel Adams

Hi… My name is Angel… and I’m a gardening addict.

Or maybe I should say…

Hi… I’m Angel.  I’m an accountant by day and a gardener every other minute that I can squeeze in.  I am extremely passionate about fruit and vegetable gardening… and houseplants – my indoor plant family is kinda big.

I mean,  I really, really love plants… and gardening.  I love it the same way… well, the same way that some men love basketball.  I have a home garden named the Panola Patch in honor of my grandparents who were farmers.  My garden is made up of a large Pinterest-inspired raised bed that I grow all types of veggies and some containers (ok… a lot of containers) of fruit.  And, most importantly, I do all my gardening on a budget.    

But I’m not your typical southern gardener….I’m a chick who has embraced the fact that I HATE mud, that I am terrified of snakes, that mosquitos drink my blood like a fine Merlot, and that I will use more mint in my tea than all other herbs combined. 

I consider myself an amateur gardener with a passion for learning.  I thoroughly enjoy seeing the “fruit” of my labor right in my back yard. You will soon be able to join me on my gardening adventures over at ThePanolaPatch.com.

 

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