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

30 Great Stocking Stuffers and Gifts for Teenage Girls

30 great gifts for teenage girls

30 great gifts for teenage girls

My girl and I have been working on her gift list for Christmas. Between her fellow cheerleaders, cousins, and close friends, she has quite a few gifts to buy or make. So, we’ve been on the hunt for the best gifts in several price ranges. And since we’ve done all this research, it seemed a shame not to share it with you as well … since there’s a pretty good chance at least a few of my readers have a teenage girl on their lists also. And so, here is our list of

30 great gifts for teenage girls —

and the best part is, they are all under $20!!

{These are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase through them.}

Looking for something little to tuck into her stocking? Here are a few ideas under $5

gift ideas for teenage girls under $5

1. dangle earrings {$3.99} || 2. wrap bracelet {$2.48} || 3. prettty bud vase {$4.99} || 4. nail art tools {$2.06} || 5. phone case {$2.98} || 6. bath salts {$4.71} || 7.oversize ring {$4.99} || 8. purse-sized journal {$3.99}

Need something for a gift exchange or an idea you can give to several girls? Here are some suggestions under $10

gift ideas for teenage girls under $9.99

9.  Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants {$7.99} || 10. Burt’s Bees Essential Everyday Beauty Kit {$7.99} || 11. fun socks {$6.92} || 12. crochet head band {$7.99} || 13. hair accessories {$5.49} || 14. gel pens {$9.95} || 15. journal {$9.99} || 16. pillow cover {$5.78} || 17. Taylor Swift “1989” {$9.99} || 18. eyeshadow palette {$9.99} || 19. leg warmers {$5.99}

Looking for a little something special for your girl or maybe her BFF? Gotcha covered … these gifts in the $10 – 15 range are perfect!

gift ideas for teenage girls $10-15

20. headphone splitter {$10.53} || 21. fruit infuser water tumbler, 2 pack {$12.99} || 22. makeup brushes {$12.00} || 23. flannel shirt {$14.99} || 24.  Francesca Battistelli “If We’re Honest” {$10.00}|| 25.Live Original: How the Duck Commander Teen Keeps It Real and Stays True to Her Values {$14.54} || 26.  plaid scarf {$12.77} || 27. moustache push pins {$11.95}

What about a little something for that special cousin? Gotcha covered here too … three great gifts in the $15 – 20 range!

gifts for teenage girls $15-20

28. Cents of Style state pendent necklace $19.95 || 29. chevron clutch {$19.00} || 30. Jesus Calling perpetual calendar {$15.99}

Happy shopping, y’all! 

TL

Do you have a “go to” gift for the girls in your life? Please share with all of us!!

Choose the Moment

choose the moment square

choose the moment

Oh my word, y’all! How has it been over a week since I last wrote? I wish I could tell you it’s because I’ve been busy decorating for the holidays and I have some easy but awesome ideas to share … or because I was inspired to start sewing again … or because Scott had whisked me off for a week-long trip to the mountains. {A girl can dream, right?}

But really, all that’s been happening here is the same mundane stuff of life that you deal with also.

As I sit here looking out the window at the gorgeous fall foliage, I am reminded again how easy it is to let the days get away from me. How often I simply move from one task to the next without stopping to refocus and regroup.

choose the moment

Yesterday I shared on Not Quite Amish about choosing moments over mayhem during the holidays. But the truth is, it isn’t just during the Christmas season that I get distracted — it happens almost every day. Caught up in the grand juggling act of mom and homemaker and writer and friend and wife and whatever else, I can easily miss the moments that really matter because I’m so busy with the task at hand.

There’s a quote I love, “Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.” It hangs on the wall in our living room, a visible reminder to slow down. An admonition to myself giving permission to live well.

life is not measured by the breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away

Perhaps your life is much like mine … a daily repetition of laundry, dishes, car line, and such. I get it. I know how easy it is to get lost in the mundane. But can I whisper something to your heart?

Choose the moment! In the midst of the chaos and crazy of life, choose to notice the glimpses of glory. Catalog the twinkle in your husband’s eyes as he laughs with your children. Breathe deeply the scent of sleeping children. Linger at the window watching the the clouds move.

Our lives are but a vapor … but within that vapor are countless moments to cherish and treasure and embrace.

Choose the moment!

xo,

TL

What moment have you chosen lately?

For Your Weekend {modest is hottest edition}

modest is hottest {fashion over 40}

modest is hottest {fashion over 40}

I’m all about some cute clothes … even if I can’t take a good selfie for anything. And I’m also all about some cute and modest clothes for my girl. Many of you loved this week’s post featuring Casiday’s adorable outfits so you can definitely expect more of that. In fact, we’re brainstorming a few ideas about mother/daughter styling.

And since this week has also had its fair share of stress and anxiety about social media, I thought I’d share some of the great resources I’ve found lately for dressing stylishly and modestly. I’m calling this week’s For Your Weekend the modest is hottest edition.  Enjoy!!

LOVE LOVE LOVE this article from Grace for Moms!  An absolute must read from a stylist who has worked on movies like Moms Night Out and Grace Unplugged. 

I’m basically terrified about doing mix and match wrong and looking ridiculous. Images like this one from Everyday Savvy are SO helpful for fashion backward girls like me. And since these pieces are all from Target, it feels very doable.  I especially like this idea for building a good capsule wardrobe.

One of my favorite pinners is Deborah of Fabulous after 40. Her blog is full of great information and her Pinterest boards are amazing!!

And you should be following Cyndi Spivey and JoLynne Shane also … both of these women have incredible style and offer practical counsel for dressing in a way that is flattering and age-appropriate.

You may be wondering why in the world I’m sharing so much about clothes and appearance …. after all, this is supposed to be a blog offering you permission to live well. But here’s what I’m finding, taking care of myself is a huge part of living well.  That’s why I’m trying really hard to eat better and exercise more. And I want to be a good steward of what the Lord has given me — even the clothes in my closet.  Finding and wearing clothes that are well-made and flattering helps me not be distracted as much by all those pesky insecurities and doubts … and it keeps me from engaging in retail therapy near as often.

And let’s face it, we’ve got to get dressed … we may as well feel good about what we’re wearing! :)

Happy Saturday, y’all! If you need me I’ll be in my navy and orange cheering on the Auburn Tigers as they play Texas A & M.

War Eagle!
TL

What is your favorite item in your closet??

 

Yik Yak … Yuck {Notes from an Overprotective Mom}

Yik Yak ... Yuck {Notes from an Overprotective Mom}

Yik Yak ... Yuck! Notes from an Overprotective Mom

Three days ago I heard about Yik Yak because I am one of “those moms.” You know, the ones who monitor my child’s phone and social media and online activity. I downloaded the app to see what it contained and I was horrified by the language and attitudes displayed. I wasn’t surprised that students in my daughter’s high school cussed and were disrespectful of teachers. I wasn’t even shocked at the graphic nature of “yaks” about sexual acts. Let’s face it, all of that is on prime time television and in the music on popular radio.

As I sat at my dining room table in tears, I prayed for the girls who were named as THOTs {a slang word I had to look up but is basically another word for slut}. Other students were mocked for their ethnicity and alleged sexual preferences. Teachers and school administrators were discussed and one of the yaks asked, “Which teacher would you bang?”

I’m not going to say this same type of thing doesn’t happen offline … but the biggest difference between a group of kids sitting around talking and putting this sort of thing on Yik Yak is the perceived anonymity. Because they don’t have their names attached to what they say, it  feels like it’s safe. And it’s a lot easier to take it farther.

At church Wednesday night I walked into a room full of students and said, “Anyone here on Yik Yak?” Almost all of them said, “Not anymore.” And one asked me if I was going to talk about it with the moms in my Bible study that night. When I said I absolutely was, kids decided they better warn others. Most of the students in the room said they’d deleted it because it got so bad, so fast. But they also said they thought some of what was on there was funny.

Honestly, some of the comments and threads were just silly — but the overwhelming majority of what I read was vile.  In fact, these verses basically describe what was there:

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. {Galatians 5:19-21}

Here’s the bottom line for me:

That kind of junk doesn’t belong in the life {or on the phone!} of anyone who claims to follow Christ. Period.

Probably there will be some who think I’m being judgmental or harsh. But isn’t there a point when we say enough? Isn’t there a time when it all goes too far and we stand up and say, “As a disciple of Christ, that is not for me”? I shared with my Bible study group the standard I use and what I hold my daughter to in terms of social media.  It might sound familiar:

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, thing about these things.  {Philippians 4:8}

Yes, we’re all going to fail. I do it every. single. day. So does my daughter. So does my husband. We. All. Do. But just because we fall doesn’t mean we stay in the muck. And if we never set a biblical standard for ourselves and for our children, we’ll be far more likely to believe the junk of this world is acceptable.

So, yeah, I’m overprotective. Yes, I read every text. Yes, I check all the apps {and delete the ones she can’t have or she breaks the guidelines we’ve established}. Yes, I have her phone more than she does. And yes, there are those who swear she’ll be the most rebellious child ever when she finally gets out of our home.

But you know what, it’s a chance I’m willing to take. I pray for wisdom and direction in guiding her toward the Lord and I’m going to answer for what I’ve done with what I had and what I know. And I know this, children are a gift from God {Psalm 127:3} and I’m not about to shortchange the gift He gave me of being her mom by giving her freedoms she isn’t mature enough to manage. I’ll do all I can to protect her heart and her reputation.  Because one day she will leave our home and it will be just fine with me if the only baggage she has is the Vera Bradley we’ve bought her.

xo,

Teri Lynne

How do you handle social media with your kids? {And for yourself??}

You can definitely expect to read more about social media and apps around here. I feel like this is one of the biggest parenting issues we face. Our kids have never lived without access to an online world. And we need to encourage and support each other as we learn to navigate a world where we are always behind.  Here are few articles I read with great information about apps like Yik Yak.

And specifically about Yik Yak, which was the app used to make a bomb threat against my daughter’s school and another school in our county on Thursday, there is also great concern about bullying.

  • And yet, of all the anonymous apps and Web sites promising safe spaces for users to spill their souls, perhaps none has proved so consistently problematic — so apparently irredeemable — as Yik Yak, the scourge of campuses from California to Concord, N.H. In the past week alone, more than a dozen high schools and universities have had high-profile incidents with the app. ~ How Do You Solve a Problem Like Yik Yak? {from The Washington Post}
  • “Cyberbullying has already occurred,” Superintendent Adam Bird said. “Many disparaging, ugly, vulgar comments are being made about students and staff using Yik Yak.” ~ Student Arrested after Social Media Threat {from The Clermont Sun}
  • “I am all about open dialogue. I am a promoter of conversation and honest perceptions. But discussion hidden behind anonymity builds more conflict than conversation, erects more walls than bridges. Barbed comments without naming the source or without the context of listening do far more damage than good.” ~ The Offense of Anonymity {from The Biola University Chimes}
  • Most recently, in Connecticut, parents received a message from Fairfield Public Schools warning them that Yik Yak was “creating opportunities for mean-spirited, bullying behavior” at some of its schools. “Upon researching this we have learned that Yik Yak has been causing many issues at middle schools, high schools, and colleges around the country,” the message read. “The issues range from bullying behavior, racial harassment, sexual harassment, to bomb threats and threats of physical violence.” ~ Messaging App Yik Yak Causing Bullying Concerns at Some Schools {from Fox News}
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