Ink Slingers Lent Liturgical Year Martina Products Reviews

REVIEW: Elegant and Modern Stele Golden Crucifix

REVIEW Elegant and Modern Stele Golden Crucifix


 Crucifix, Stele Model, Golden


Holy Art


If you’ve followed some of my personal posts through the Catholic Sistas social media platforms and maybe even my own personal account, you know how much I enjoy decorating my home. As an introvert and homebody, I find that being at home is only as peaceful as I make it. With nine family members, though, a lot of the decor I choose has to be either sturdy, placed high, or tough enough to withstand being put to the test by the endless stream of toddler and threenager shenanigans. 😉

That said, when Holy Art, a company based out of the Italy and sells exclusively online around the world to customers like me and you, approached me to consider a review of their products, I was intrigued. I was intrigued because I am a huge fan of high quality religious products to begin with, having had to replace many items over the years due to…yep, the endless stream of toddler and threenager shenanigans.

I found myself perusing the website for probably far longer than I should have, lol, but I was pleasantly surprised by the uniqueness of their products. One product finally caught my eye and I thought, ok, this is it. I love crucifixes around the house, but I like them to look different. They should be detailed enough to call to mind the sacrifice Christ made for us on the Cross. The Stele Model – Golden Crucifix did just that. But ordering it online and seeing it in person would be two very different experiences. 

The product shipped “across the pond” far quicker than I expected! When I opened it, it was delicately packed, and included with it some details such as being 100% hand-crafted in Loppiano, which is near Florence, Italy, by a company called Ceramiche Centro Ave. It is made from fire clay and, as you can see from the photos, the attention to detail is stunning. Though we have a wooden Tau cross over our bed, I decided to place this crucifix on the wall over my nightstand. If you haven’t already been to their website, this is a good one to bookmark. So many companies sell mass produced items, many cheaply made in China. I doubly appreciate that this company is devoted to not just hand-made custom items – and it’s a total hat tip to the Catholic artisan movement. My suggestion to you? Visit their site and place your order – you won’t be disappointed, friend.


$71.31 + shipping


  • HEIGHT: 6.89″
  • MADE BY : The wall decor cross is hand-crafted 100% by the Italian company “Ceramiche Centro Ave” in Loppiano, near Florence.
  • MATERIALS: fire clay
  • ORIGIN: Italy
  • DURABILITY: My personal ranking – 10 out of 10
  • UNIQUENESS: My personal ranking – 10 out of 10
  • QUALITY: My personal ranking 10 out of 10


Catholic Sistas was not paid to do this review – the publisher sent free products in exchange for an honest review of this product. All reviews are current as of the publish date. If you notice that a review contains information that is no longer accurate, please email and we will be happy to amend this review.

REVIEW: Elegant and Modern Stele Golden Crucifix3REVIEW: Elegant and Modern Stele Golden Crucifix2

Ink Slingers Interviews Products Reviews Sarah

Pycnocline: A Faith-Filled Business

I have been eyeing these gorgeous t-shirts from pycnocline for a while, so when I had the chance to review one and interview Megan, I jumped. Megan was a delight to speak with and her story was quite interesting!

I received two Stella Maris t-shirts in exchange for an honest review. I LOVE the subtle Catholic message of these shirts! One was child-sized and my daughter wears it all the time. She searches through the laundry to find it.

Pycnocline: A Faith-Filled Business

Megan, founder and artist behind pycnocline, is mom to two awesome kids, Catholic convert, and a fish biologist. When she started to stay at home, raising kids, she searched for a creative outlet that honored her science background. Enter bleach dyed tshirts! I just love that her shirt designs reflect both her love of fish AND her love of her faith! In fact, Stella Maris seems to be the most perfect fusion of the two.

Megan has this to say about running her bleached t-shirt business:

I love the process of making my shirts. I get to be structured and organized with my orders and bleaching the shirts- that suits the scientist in me. I also get to create new designs as I feel the itch to create- that suits my creative side.

The t-shirts are great quality and quite durable. My daughter isn’t always easy on clothes and her shirt still looks brand new! I can’t wait to start wearing mine, as soon as my previously pregnant belly goes back to normal.


To Megan, one of the most important aspect of her business is an infusion of her faith into every facet. She prays as she designs and prays for customers as she works. I am a huge proponent of supporting small businesses, and if they’re faith filled as well, it’s just icing on the cake.

Ink Slingers Michelle Products Reviews Faith and Fun in a Box

Every day when the mail comes my kids argue about who is going to run out to get it. Just as I did as a child, they love the job. As the victor of the mail retrieval argument brings in the mail, he or she flips through it to see whose names are included on the letters. Not finding their own, they sigh heavily and hand me the mail saying, “Mama, it’s all for you.”

Of course they simply see a stack of mail with my name on it and think I should be overjoyed to be getting so much mail. Little do they realize that it’s always bills and a whole lot of junk too; not things I truly want to open. While I occasionally get a letter from a dear Sister friend whom I met in Cincinnati at the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, it is rare these days that I get anything that I look forward to in the mail.

But a couple weeks ago all that changed. I was contacted by and asked if I might want to review one of their monthly subscription boxes. Friends, I’m not a person who passes up a free t-shirt, especially a free CATHOLIC t-shirt, and I love getting mail that is not bills, and so I sent on my address and waited patiently for it to arrive.

It didn’t take long for my box to get here. One day a week later the victor of the daily mail retrieval argument rushed inside, a box firmly in her hand held high above her head, yelling, “Mama! Mama! Guess what? You got a box!” To say the excitement at our house was palpable would be an understatement. Taking the box into the kitchen I’m pretty sure I had 7 of my 11 kids gathered around me waiting for me open this unexpected treasure that the post man had so kindly delivered.

As I opened the box I was so thrilled at what I found inside. Lately I have had a very strong pull from God to get to know and understand the Divine Mercy better and my pen pal Sister Clarita from the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor had introduced me to and encouraged me in this devotion. Imagine my surprise when this month’s theme was exactly that- The Divine Mercy! Everything included tied in together and was focused on helping me to not only understand but love the Divine Mercy. God sure works in amazing ways!

The first thing I pulled out was the t-shirt. It was nicely made- the material is heavy and the graphics are well thought out and look great on the shirt. AND it looked like it would fit me perfectly (which is always something I worry about if I order something online, but the size was true!) My experience was going great so far!

But the box doesn’t only include a t-shirt (although you can order a subscription that has simply a t-shirt if you so desire). There were more goodies! Also included in my box was a gorgeous rosary that is specially made to be able to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet (or the normal rosary if you wish), two medals- one of Pope John Paul II and the second was the Divine Mercy image, two prayer cards, a bonus gift of Fr. Gaitley’s talk “The Second Greatest Story Ever Told”, and a reflection on what the Divine Mercy is, how it came about, and why we should incorporate it into our lives. Finally, the Catholic T-shirt Club also tells us why each item is included in our box and how it relates to our lives.

Seriously, getting this box in the mail was like Christmas morning for me! Not only did it make me happy to not have only bills to open, but it was such a wonderful feeling having these amazing reminders of my Catholic faith coming straight to my doorstep. I loved seeing my children’s faces as I pulled out each of the goodies that were included in the box. They were just as excited about them as I was and we all know how important it is to have our children excited about their faith! not only has boxes for adults (and they have three different subscription levels to choose from), but they also have subscription boxes for kids! As I checked out their website I was thrilled to see how they hope to inspire all people in their faith. Their monthly subscriptions are a fun way to do just that.

If you are looking for a fun way to encourage your faith, if you love showing your Catholic faith through awesome t-shirts, and you simply love getting faith-inspiring things in the mail, then I have to suggest you try out the monthly t-shirt subscription at I really think you will love it!

Want to learn more? Go here to check out their website, to have your questions answered, and to sign up!


*I received this box for free in return for my honest assessment of this product. I honestly think you should try it out!

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YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body


For many years, centuries perhaps, the Catholic Church has gotten a bad rap regarding her teachings on sex. Considered prudish by some and demanding by others, her insistence on purity and chastity has been misunderstood, misinterpreted, and ignored by many.

pope-john-paul-iiIn recent years the Church has worked tirelessly to help people understand what Christ, and consequently the Church teaches regarding human dignity, sex, and why it is important to understand how these subjects intertwine. Pope John Paul II began this process with a series of talks that would later be compiled together as the Theology of the Body.

Theology of the Body emphasizes the sacredness of the body and how when we understand the true nature of our bodies- that we are made in the image and likeness of God and that the gift of our bodies have the ability to make visible the invisible mystery of God’s love- we can not only come to know and love God in a manner that is impossible to do in any other fashion, but we can know and love one another in a much deeper and spiritual manner as well.

Continuing Pope John Paul II’s work and as part of the New Evangelization movement, Ascension Press has been active in helping to bring the Theology of the Body to the forefront of Catholic education. Their new program, You: Life, Love, and The Theology of the Body, seeks to remind us that we are worth more than the world says; that we have an inherent dignity that sets us apart and can bring us to happiness, joy, and communion with God and one another.

You: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body

The You program is amazing. With inspirational presenters, captivating visuals, and down to earth advice, You connects with teens and parents alike. The program first builds a firm foundation regarding human nature, love, and responsibility and then tackles the difficult subjects that our teens are faced with today- pornography, masturbation, premarital sex, same sex attraction and marriage, and gender issues. It does this all the while reminding them of Christ’s love for each and every person.

This modern interpretation of age old teachings tie in Scripture references and the Catechism of the Catholic Church in a way that makes sense and that will resound in the hearts and minds of all those who watch the videos and read the books. The program consists of 5 DVDs, an instructor’s guide, a student workbook, and a parent’s guide. It can easily be used by schools, religious education classes, youth groups, a homeschool program, or even within a small group setting. Additionally, this isn’t made simply for teens. Adults who wish to learn more about the Theology of the Body would benefit greatly from this course.

You is not just another chastity program that says, “Don’t have sex! You’ll regret it!” Instead, it reminds us that human beings are created for love and created for communion. Our bodies don’t make sense on their own, but when we view them in the light of chastity, respect, communion, and love, we can see how beautiful and important the human body truly is.

Our society wants us to believe that what we want right now is all that matters. It has taken the words chastity, purity, and sacrifice and given them negative meanings. Chastity frees us from the attitude that it’s ok to use others and to allow ourselves to be used by others and instead opens our hearts to love- both to give love and to receive love. The You program shows us how living a chaste life, as we are all called to live, can bring us not only happiness but true freedom and love.

For those who are nervous to teach on this subject, You provides everything you need to teach the class. The instructor’s guide is broken down by session and provides notes, prayers, ways to engage the students, ice breakers, different activities to connect with the teens, and for those who need it, a complete breakdown of how to run the class including minute by minute instructions. This program can be used for beginners or veteran teachers alike.

The DVDs are simply amazing. Set against beautiful backdrops, well-known Catholic speakers who are vibrant, engaging, and relatable talk to the teens in a way that captivates them. The videos, while varying in length, seem to always last just the right amount of time. Some are longer (about 10 minutes), while others are short (about 3 minutes). But the message they each carry will speak right to the viewer’s heart.

The student workbooks are engaging and informative. They dive into the topics raised within the videos and they help the teens immerse themselves in a very meaningful way. With encouragement to “take it to prayer”, random tidbits and facts throughout, and review questions both at the end of each section and at the end of each chapter, students “will discover the truth about their bodies, their sexuality, and their unique call to love.”

The parent’s guide briefly reviews what the teen will cover in each lesson, provides questions to ask the teens, and family applications to help teens live out the teachings they are learning. The guide is an invaluable source for parents who wish to connect with their teens but may not know how to. .

You impresses upon our teens what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman and why this is important. It reminds us that we are each created not only out of love, but we are created for love. It helps us answer the question “who am I?” It tells us that purity “isn’t being numb to the beauty of God’s creation of masculinity and femininity” but instead that purity allows us to see the beauty of masculinity and femininity the way God wants us to- through a lens of true love and respect.

If you are looking for a program that will help you to teach the your teen how to live an authentic life of freedom, love, and happiness; if you are looking to guide your teen through confusing and challenging topics such as same sex attraction and marriage, pornography, and gender issues; if you wish to teach your teen that true love involves sacrifice, discipleship, chastity, and charity, then You: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body is the perfect program to try.

If you are interested in this program (and I promise you will love it!), check out Ascension Press’s website. Here you will find this program and many other resources to help you on this journey toward love, respect, chastity, and faith.

created for love


I was given this program in return for my honest review. I am not being compensated for this review.

Ink Slingers Martina Products Reviews

REVIEW: Catholic Faith Box – For Kids!

Review: Catholic Faith Box - For Kids!


Catholic Faith Box – Kids Package, monthly subscription service





Catholic Faith Box’s mission is {taken from their site} to draw Catholics closer to their faith by providing them with a curated box of spiritual tools to help celebrate the liturgical month. The Kids Subscription is geared toward young children that helps nurture that love for the Catholic Faith. A bonus is they’ll enjoy having mail come just for them! 

Review: Catholic Faith Box - For Kids!



*month-to-month subscription, auto renew 


  • kids ages 6-10
  • children receive a curated box each month in the mail
  • inside are 5-6 child friendly Catholic products
  • box contains items such as books, coloring books, prayers, activities, etc.


The littles loved this as much as I did. We ended up using it as a Mass bag, which was perfect for the squirmy three year old and wiggly five year old. The bag came with enough items to keep them both entertained quietly but engaged on a level that was still appropriate during Mass. 

REVIEW: Catholic Faith Box - For Kids!


Catholic Sistas was not paid to do this review – the publisher offered free materials in exchange for an honest review of this product. All reviews are current as of the publish date. If you notice that a review contains information that is no longer accurate, please email and we will be happy to amend this review.