Welcome friend! Grab a cup of coffee or sweet tea or even a green smoothie if that's your thing and let's get acquainted. I'm Teri Lynne — wife to Scott, mom to Casiday, and manager of Buddy the Basset. {Check out my Instagram feed to keep up with the crazy dog antics.}

Kick off your shoes and let's chat about faith, family, and figuring out how to live well in this chaotic 21st century. And if we can't solve any of the world's problems, at least we can listen and encourage one another. In the words of that old 80s song, "That's what friends are for ... "

xo, Teri Lynne

For Your Weekend … Christmas is almost here!

Christmas is almost here!

Christmas is almost here ...

Christmas is almost here. Can you believe it?

I’m still wrapping presents and we even have a few gifts left to purchase. But we’re almost done. And I suppose that’s good since our family celebrations begin Monday.

I’ve read some wonderful posts over the past few weeks about preparing your heart for Christmas and I wanted to share them with you. It’s so easy to be distracted by all that needs to be done and miss the one needful thing.  I journaled about my struggle with this very thing earlier this month …

What is your focus this Christmas?

It’s real, y’all. And it’s hard. We need to be reminded of what really matters, of what is lasting. 

Here are few things I’ve read and found sooo encouraging …

What Does Christmas Have to Do with Body Image at For Every Mom

No joke, I’ve gained almost ten pounds in the past few weeks. Between basketball season and Christmas parties, I am thankful for elastic waists and flowing tunics. It’s easy to be distracted by the scale and feel like my worth is rooted in the number on it. But then I read words like this and am reminded of the truth:

‘Til he appeared and the soul felt its worth.

Christmas speaks to those of us who don’t feel very beautiful during the holidays. Christmas tells us that we don’t have to search for value in our appearance or strive to look more like the musical starlet singing Santa Baby in order to experience peace and joy.

Instead Christmas tells us that our meaning arrived with him.

Choosing Connection over Competition by Emily P. Freeman

If you will be spending time with any other women this holiday season, please read this. Trust me.

The Story of Curlie by Courtney DeFeo

I adore Courtney! She is the real deal in every way — and she is hilarious! But this post shows her huge heart in the most magnificent manner. If you want to know someone who making a real difference in the lives of others every single day, it’s Court! And if you want to be encouraged to do the same in your own community, she’s a great cheerleader!!

6 Ways to Find Freedom from the Frenzy this Christmas by Tricia Goyer

Another of my favorite people {and a precious encourager in my life!} is Tricia. And this post is pure gold.

The thing is, we are the ones in control. We choose what we allow into our holiday celebrations and what we won’t. We are the architects of our December schedule. The holidays happen by our design.

And that’s the problem. We don’t take time to design. We fill our schedules before we design what they should look like, and we end up in a great big frenzy!

Freedom from frenzy comes when we remove the oppression of overdoingthat has a hold on us.

And, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed {or even underwhelmed} by all the madness the holidays, you might find this post I wrote for Not Quite Amish encouraging.

3 ways to embrace the holy during the holidays

Christmas will be here before we know it and then we’ll all wonder where the year has gone. There will always be more to do than time to do it, I’ve learned that. But I hope I’m learning a more important lesson that will transcend the craziness of this time of year — to embrace the holy in the midst of the daily, every day of the year.

I’ll be sharing a couple of posts next week and I’m still writing daily Advent encouragements on Facebook I would love for you to join us there.  But mostly, I’m lingering with good books and watching favorite movies with my family. Casiday’s last basketball games before Christmas were last night so we’re even on a cheer break until January 6.

I hope you’ll make time to slow during the next few days … consider it your Christmas gift to yourself!

Happy weekend!!

Teri Lynne

What I Wore … and ideas for fancy Christmas party outfits

WIWW Christmas Parties

WIWW Christmas Parties

Let’s see, so far this December we’ve talked about thinning eyelashes {and other issues those of us over 40 may be facing} and nail care. I’ve also shared some favorite books and a few things I wore this month. And I invited you to peek at our holiday decorations. Today I’m hosing my Bible study group for a Christmas party. And so I thought I’d show you what you could expect if you were to come by my house during the holidays. Here is what I’m wearing for our little get together tonight:

the time I wore a basset hound sweater to a party at my house

 

I know, adorable, right? What else can you expect from the manager of Buddy the Basset? Scott got me this cute sweater last year from the men’s department at Target and I love how fun it is. Clearly, parties at our house are not very fancy. Ha!

Most of the Christmas festivities we attend are pretty low key and casual — and I’m thankful for that — but it would be fun to attend one of those fancy Christmas galas where you get to dress up!

So when Bonobos contacted me about styling a few outfits to go with their newest menswear line, I was excited to live vicariously! Y’all — I may have a Polyvore addiction now. {I know, I’m late jumping on this train but now I’m happily ensconced.}

Here is the suit I chose to style.

bonobos menswear

I love this blue suit and the funky vibe it gives off. I’m thinking it  would be fun for a company party that is dressy but not formal. I love the way the blue sort of lends whimsy to the traditional suit. And, of course, I’m partial to the plaid tie. Hello … southern preppy is my love language!

I chose two different looks for the lady on the arm of this blue suited fellow. The first, which I’m calling Blue Christmas,  is a more formal look but I love the idea of wearing a fun white fur coat with this royal blue dress. And just a bracelet and earrings since the neckline is embellished. But how about that sparkly shoes?? I’m seriously swooning!!

Blue Christmas

If you are not the matchy type of couple, Pretty in Pink might be more your preference. I love the simplicity of the coral shift dress with pearl jewelry and nude pumps. But with the layered pearls, stacked bracelets, and bow accent on the pumps, this outfit is definitely not plain.

Pretty in Pink

 

You should really check out the awesomeness of Bonobos menswear! Their new suit line is fabulous. I loved being able to share their amazing products with you … and thank you to them for asking me to be a part of this fun challenge.

So, tell me, which outfit do you like best? And also, do you get to go to any of those fancy Christmas parties?

xo,
TL
Linking to the fabulous Lindsey and all the other lovelies who join What I Wore every week. Such a fun community!

Christmas Home Tour 2014

Our Home at Christmas

Hey y’all! Tomorrow night I’m hosting a little party for my Bible study group.  I love having people in my home … and I wish I could just bring all of you over one afternoon for some coffee and conversation. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

One of my very favorite bloggers, Myquillin Smith {otherwise known as The Nester} has these saying I adore:

It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

Isn’t that awesome news?! I don’t know about you but neither me nor my home are ever perfect. But my desire is to create a space {off line and online too} where perfection isn’t the goal and where people can gather and know they are beautiful  to — to me and the Lord who created us all in His image.

Well, when I heard Myquillin was hosting a holiday home tour for “the rest of us” {that is, the non-crafty among us who aren’t decorators or designers by trade or talent}, I knew I wanted to jump in. Mostly because I think if I let you take a peek around my house, you’ll see the things that matter to me and maybe feel like you know me a little better. Also, because if you lived near me, I’d want you to come over and curl up with something warm to drink and yummy to eat and share with me all the things going on in your life right now.

Since that isn’t feasible, I thought I’d invite you in virtually and let you know there is always a spot for you in my space! Come on in and let’s chat about Christmas and life and kids and marriage and whatever else we can think of!

Our Home at Christmas

First up, here’s our den. This is where all the best stuff happens … long conversations, movie marathons, game playing, and the general stuff of life. One of my favorite things I tried this year was to replicate an idea I found on Pinterest … an old box stuck in the fireplace with wood and lights.  Here is what I came up with:

Fun Pinterest-inspired hearth boxThis became the inspiration for everything else … live greenery, burlap and red, a little sparkle and a lot of fun. Here is a little collage of the rest of this room. You’ll note we chose not to have matching stockings … I love the way they look. And of course, there is a box of children’s books ready for any of our littlest guests to explore. {Check out my ten favorite books this Christmas … and see which of these children’s books made the list!} You’ll also see we have a tree with police ornaments in memory of Scott’s dad who was Chief of Police before he passed away in 2001. And, of course, there is an Auburn tree. :)

Stockings and books and trees, oh my!

Next up is the dining room. This is where I work … even though I have an office. I love this room and there is tons of natural light. We have our Fontanini nativity out in here … again low enough for little hands to reach and play with the sheep and baby Jesus.  And there are old suitcases and a metal tackle box where I have displayed some fun vintage ornaments. We also collect nativity ornaments and have them on a tree in here.

Fontanini nativity, favorite nativity ornaments, and vintage finds

I love this room at night … there’s an vintage lace tablecloth that belonged to my grandmother draped across the windows and a few pieces of my milk glass collection provide a touch of elegance. But I have to admit, I’m partial to the old candles in the windows.  These are the very same candles my mom’s mom used in the windows at her house when my mom was a little girl. My Mema passed away due to breast cancer in 1981 when I was ten. Placing her candles in my window and using her milk glass to decorate is a small way I keep her memory alive.

candles in the window

Next up is our kitchen. If you were here I’d offer you some fudge or maybe some molasses cookies. I love to bake and make candy during the holidays. In fact, I’m adding a little homemade goodness in the form of everyone’s favorites to the Christmas stockings this year. Over the next week I’ll make more of my Mema’s fudge for Scott’s grandmothers, potato candy for his mom, and more molasses cookies for Papa. Speaking of Papa, here is an old kitchen cabinet rescued from the side of the road by his dad — Scott’s great-grandfather. I love having it in our kitchen and it is especially fun to decorate at Christmas.

antique kitchen cabinet full of all kinds of old timey goodnessIf you look closely you will see a collection of Santa mugs from another of Scott’s great-grandmothers {Momma Casiday, for whom our girl is named}. And those beautiful blue Ball jars are from my sweet Bigmama who knows my fondness for all things old. The ladder-turned-bookshelf belonged to yet another Papa and all the layers of paint splatters show how much it was used.

Here are a few more images from the kitchen to look at while I get your coffee all fixed up.  :)

vintage-y awesomeness in the kitchen

 

We’re getting close to the end … here’s my “big tree” under which we place all the presents. This year, I started piling presents into the old steamer trunk we found in a shed at Mamaw Underwood’s house.  I love how that looks, don’t you?

trees and presents and lightsOne more special thing I need to show you in here is a genius idea of my husband’s …

Rudolph Village in antique TV

How cool is that??? He bought an old, old, old TV and took it all part, refinished it and then put his Rudolph collectibles inside.  I know the photo is blurry but it is such a fun thing I hated not to show it. Plus, it definitely proves who is the more creative in our house.

Last but not least {and hopefully not weird}, is our bedroom.  We’ve had a tree in our room since we first got married. I love it. There is something very calming and beautiful — and romantic!! — about it. So, here’s a few shots of our bedroom in all it’s Christmas-y glory!

a Christmas tree in your bedroom? yes! absolutely!And there you have it, a tour of our holiday home … thank you for stopping by and I hope you’ll be sure to visit my online home again.  I have some great plans for 2015 including 31 Verses to Pray for Your Husband beginning in mid-January and ending on Valentine’s Day.  And you can sign up for my newsletter and receive special content not found on the blog.  Sign up by filling out the form here or in my sidebar.

Merry Christmas from all of us at the Underwood abode!

Merry Christmas!

 

Be sure to visit The Nester’s Christmas Tour of Homes for all kinds of holiday decorating genius!

What I Wore … and some winter nail care tips

WIWW and Winter Nail Tips

What I Wore and some winter nail care tipsHey y’all! I’m finally jumping back in with a What I Wore Wednesday post … it’s been crazy around here and I have meant to share more of my outfits but since most nights I’m sitting in a gym wearing a “cheer mom” shirt of some sort, I suppose you haven’t missed much. LOL

But I have managed to wear colors besides black and gold in the past week so I thought I’d share what I’ve worn for a few exciting things happening around here. And I’m thrilled to be partnering with JULEP to share some winter nail care tips. {While JULEP did not pay me for sharing this information, I have included affiliate links for JULEP and several other shops in this post.}

Last Friday night I was honored to share one of my favorite Christmas-themed talks at a women’s event in a nearby community. In 2011 I wrote a series for the blog titled “Have Yourself a Mary Little Christmas” and since then I’ve loved encouraging women with a talk based on those posts. This is what I wore to speak …

What I Wore {Speaking Engagement}

sweater {Kohls} || palazzo pants {zulily.com} || pearl necklace {Premiere} || bracelets {Silpada}

Another fun thing that has happened lately is being interviewed for an article in a local magazine. I’ll share more details about all of that when I can but suffice it to say, figuring out what to wear for the photos was more stressful than the actual interview!! Ha! They wanted pictures of me the way I normally look when I’m writing … and somehow I felt like they didn’t REALLY want me in my yoga pants and one of Scott’s sweatshirts so, this is what I wore.

What I Wore {Magazine Interview}

sweater {Stitch Fix} || tank {zulily.com} || jeans {zulily.com} || jewelry {Cato} || leopard flats {Target}

And then there are the days when I manage to get out of my sweats but still want to be comfy and I end up in outfits like this …

What I Wore {Casual and Comfy}

sweater {zulily.com} || layered scarves {Walmart} || jeans {zulily.com}

I love this look … what isn’t to love about a sweater and layered scarves with some flare jeans? You can’t see them but I’m wearing my cute leopard flats.

I mentioned Monday I’d had been called a fashion blogger recently and how fun that is. I’m thrilled to be partnering with JULEP for this post and sharing some tips for winterizing your nails. Check out this great infographic the genius people at JULEP created.

Winterize Your Nails {tips from JULEP}These are great ideas and I’ve definitely been using them since my skin seems to drying out just like my hair! I also love knowing what the popular nail polish colors are for this season and thankfully JULEP gathered them up for me.  You can check out all of their fabulous nail colors here.

Trending Nail Polish Colors Winter 2014 {from JULEP}

I love the color “Joanne” … and I found something close in our huge basket of nail polish so I painted my nails {with some silver to accent my ring finger!} and I love the way it looks with my navy sweater.

Winter Nail Color

So, thanks to JULEP for giving me {and all of you!} some great information. Just out of curiosity, do you keep your nails painted during the winter?

Happy Wednesday!

TL

Linking  up with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy and a ton of other beautiful women who are sharing “What I Wore” … I love this community!!

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