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!!

10 Great Christmas Books

10 Great Christmas Books

Remember how I said I haven’t been online much lately because when there are a few spare moments I’d rather read a book? I was thinking you all might like to know what some of my Christmas favorites are.

I’ve gathered up ten of my favorites—which you need to know was really hard because we have probably 150 or more Christmas books in this house. But these are the ones I’m especially loving this year. These are great Christmas books — fiction, nonfiction, devotional, advent … a little something for everyone.

10 Great Christmas Books

10.  The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp.

I imagine this book will end up being a classic one day. Ann writes with such poignancy using Scriptures to guide us through Advent to the wonder of the manger. We don’t do the Jesse Tree but this book uses passages from the Bible to correlate with that tradition. But whether you do or don’t, this book is a sweet reminder of the true gift of Christmas.

9.  12 Stories of Christmas by Robert J. Morgan.

Scott put this little book in my Thanksgiving stocking this year and I am loving it. Each of the stories is full of the wonder and hope Christmas brings.  Morgan is a pastor who shares a new Christmas story with his congregation in Nashville every year on Christmas Eve. This book is a collection of twelve of those stories. Reading them has made me want to drive up to Nashville for Christmas Eve at Morgan’s church.

8. 25 Days, 26 Ways to Make This Your Best Christmas Ever by Ace Collins.

This is one of Scott’s most favorite books. {And since he isn’t as much of a reader as I am, that basically means this is one everyone should read!} Packed with meaningful ways to refocus your heart this holiday season.  It’s part devotional and part practical and completely fabulous.

7. Everything I Need to Know about Christmas I Learned from a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow.

Another Thanksgiving stocking inclusion this year, this compilation is full of images and words from many different Little Golden Books. This one made me smile and cry at the same time. If your childhood included books with the beautiful gold foil spines, this is a book you will cherish.

6. A Christmas Gift for Rose by Tricia Goyer.

Last year Tricia sent me this book to read and I loved it. The back cover says it best, “Inspired by a true Story, A Christmas Gift for Rose is a heartwarming story of sacrifice, deep love, and discovering one’s true identity.” I loved reading it again this year. And it will surely have a place in my holiday reading list for years to come. {You can read the review I wrote about A Christmas Gift for Rose here.}

5. The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado and his daughters.

Y’all, this book? Oh my word. The illustrations are amazing, truly art! The story is simple and sweet. And I cry every time I read it. If you ever question the special place and plans God has for you, read this tender story for a precious reminder. And be sure to have some tissues nearby.

4. The Shoe Box by Francine Rivers.

Another one that will make you cry. We have the grown up novella version and the illustrated child’s version of this book. One year when Christmas fell on a Sunday, Scott read this book to the children in our church. There was not a dry eye in the house. Christmas isn’t easy for everyone. Some people have really difficult lives and face struggles we cannot possibly imagine. Rivers does a masterful job (as always) of reminding us how much God loves us and how attentive He is to every detail of our lives. Trust me, you want this book.

3. God With Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas.

In January 2012, my friend Kristin sent me this book saying she’d read it the previous December during Advent and knew I’d love it. I packed it away carefully with all the Christmas stuff and pulled it out before Advent began later that year. Y’all … this year is the third where the readings of God With Us have helped me mark the days toward Christmas. It is so good, so rich. I love the explanations of all the feasts tied to the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. Full of gorgeous artwork and written by some of the most incredible poets of our day, God With Us is just one of those books everyone should have and read.

2. The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs.

Scott gave me this one last year for Christmas and I added it to my must reads for 2014’s holiday season. I have not been disappointed. I’ve read and underlined and written in the margins of this beautiful telling of the stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna. Higgs has captured the essence of these women and helps us grasp the beauty and wonder of their unique roles in the Christmas story. I’m savoring this one … a few pages a day to help me refocus and ponder the treasures of the baby born in the manger.

1. The Christmas Story by Jane Werner.

The classic Little Golden Book first published in 1952 holds a treasured spot in my Christmas library. It is simple and beautiful and reminds me of my childhood when Christmas centered around big family gatherings and matching pajamas for all the cousins and listening to the nativity story read aloud from the Gospel of Luke.

So, there you have it … my favorite Christmas books {at least for this year}. Have you read any of these?

If you were making a list of your favorite Christmas books, what would be #1 for you?

Merriest of Christmas wishes to you all!
TL

These images are affiliate links with Amazon. If you choose to purchase through them, I will receive a small commission which helps me keep buying books! :)

P.S. My last newsletter of 2014 will be sent out tomorrow … if you haven’t subscribed, now would be a great time! This issue features 10 Ways to Live Well EVEN during the Holidays. Just fill out the form below and make sure you select “newsletters.”

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Thinning Eyelashes and Other Old Lady Problems

thinning eyelashes and other old lady problems

I have to admit I’m feeling pretty cool right now … because in the past month I’ve gotten three opportunities as a “fashion blogger.” Which is pretty awesome for a girl who loves boots and scarves and all things girly … but pretty weird since said girl takes the most awkward photos ever of herself in said fashion awesomeness.

thinning eyelashes and other old lady problems

Nonetheless, I’m excited to share with you an incredible new product, or at least new to me.  A friend from Georgia contacted me about Younique 3D fiber lashes … and OH. MY. GOSH.  I am totally hooked!! She sent me a sample of the Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes and it is amazing.

In case you don’t know, as you get older, your eyelashes can get sparse. And mine have. But this product is so easy to use and I love having beautiful eyelashes again. {As a bonus, Casiday loves this mascara for game days as it really makes her eyes pop when she is cheering.  So if you have a girl who cheers or dances or is in any way onstage, I’d recommend checking out Younique.}

All my raving is great but I bet you’d like to see pictures. So, here you go …

Younique 3D Fiber Lashes Mascara ... I think I'm in love! Why yes, the image on the left is me with no makeup. Can you even see my eyelashes?

The center image is me wearing ELF regular mascara which I love and really thought did a great job of puffing up my lashes.

But then I  tried Younique … and look at that image on the right! I know my photography skills are not great and the lighting in Casiday’s and my bathroom clearly isn’t fabulous.  But even with all those things, you can see how thick and full the fibers made my eyelashes.

As a mom who is past forty, I need all the help I can get to draw attention away from the puffy eyes and crows feet, you know? This mascara is now a staple in my makeup arsenal. If you have pale or thinning eyelashes or if you just want the POW that great eyelashes can add but you {like me} make a huge mess with false eyelashes … this is the way to go! And it’s super easy to remove. My daughter uses her normal eye makeup remover and I use coconut oil.

So, go check out the Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes … and the rest of this great product line. I’m sure I’ll be ordering other products to try out as well.

Now, on to a couple of other issues I’ve noticed with getting older.

Dry Hair.

This is the worst. Truly. And I found out one of the medicines I have to take post-heart-attack only exacerbates the problem. I’m desperately seeking solutions and will be sure to update you if I find a quick fix or even a longterm remedy. {I asked my cardiologist and he has assured me taking this beta blocker is necessary so I can’t just give up the medicine. LOL} I’m washing my hair less often and using several types of oil to add back some moisture.  It is getting some better and the doctor did lower my dosage as much as he could so hopefully in a month or two I’ll see some difference.

But if you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them.  My hairdresser and I are trying just about anything at this point. :)

Sleep Disruption.

Another one of my not-favorite-parts-of-getting-older. I remember when I could just lie down and go to sleep. And then stay asleep until the alarm. Oh girl! Not any more. Even on the days when we have been so busy I feel like I could drop, as soon as I lie down I struggle with sleeping.

BUT … I have found a few things that are helping {and no, Ambien isn’t one of them. Ha!}. I love using lavendar esssential oil on my feet at night. Also, when feasible I try to take a detox bath and dry brush to exfoliate.  This is a great article about the benefits of detox baths and here is a good one about dry brushing.

Another thing I’ve been doing is taking Melatonin at night. However, I have found that if I take it after 11, I have a much harder time waking up in the morning, even at a very low dose.

Here’s the thing, y’all … getting older is great in thousands of ways. But it does bring changes in areas we may not have anticipated. So, I’m sure I’ll be talking more about all of that around here more often.

Anyway, check out the Younique mascara — it is soooo worth the money! And please send me any ideas about the dry hair. {If you suggest giving up coloring my hair and using heat to style, I’ll smile politely but probably not take your advice. I’m not that desperate yet!! LOL} I’d love to hear some suggestions about supplements or natural ways to combat the drying out.

xo,

TL

P.S. Don’t forget I’m sharing an Advent series on my Facebook page … I’d love for you to join me! And I promise, these Advent plans don’t involve glitter, buying a new book, or any sort of guilt about what you aren’t doing to prepare for Christmas.

Here’s a little snippet from today’s post:

8 - Luke 848

A woman with no name but a serious problem. Scripture says she had “a discharge of blood for twelve years.” She’d seen all the doctors and sought out every bit of medical advice possible … but nothing worked. So there she was in that massive crowd—and Jesus on His way to Jairus’ home to heal a little girl—she had just one thought: to touch the hem of His robe.

I don’t know what seems impossible in your life today. Maybe you’ve had a long-term health issue. Maybe you have no idea how you’ll pay your bills and be able to purchase even small gifts for your children. Maybe this year you’ve had to whisper good-bye to someone you loved and now the holidays loom like a reminder of all you’ve lost.

I think we forget how many people in the massive throngs of this season are desperate for just a touch.

 

When It All Feels Impossible

POSSIBLE: Advent readings through the Gospel of Luke on Facebook.com/TeriLynneUblog

November was a blur around here … we’re full speed into basketball season and Christmas preparations and the occasional quiet moment when I could write a blog post but decide I’d rather indulge in a book. It’s likely this month will be about the same  …. I’ve got a few posts in mind but for the most part, I’m choosing to be offline more than on. And I’m really hoping you will do the same!

I am doing something special on Facebook {because I do manage to check in there and on Instagram almost every day} … and I’d love for you to join me.

Possible: 24 Advent Readings from the Gospel of Luke

Why on Facebook? Because it’s easy … and you can totally do all of this on your phone or tablet while you’re at a ball game or waiting in the car line or trying to pry your eyes open in the morning.

Here’s the thing … it’s way too easy to let this time of year become full of all we didn’t do … the great plans that fell through … the special moments we were too tired to enjoy … and it feels impossible to have the Christmas we see others experiencing on Pinterest and Instagram.

This morning I shared this on Facebook as we began our journey through the Gospel of Luke:

Welcome to Day 1 of “Possible” {or as I’m calling it, “Advent for the rest of us”}. If you’re like me, today started with a long list of things to do and you’re already tired before the day has begun. Sometimes I look at Pinterest and all the beautiful ways my friends celebrate this season and feel woefully inadequate. It feels impossible to do anything more than I already do which, most days already feels like not enough. Perhaps you can relate?

This year, I invite you to do less … forget the special calendars or reading a new book every day or decorating a special tree … leave all the self-imposed expectations behind. It may feel like you are failing … I know, it does for me. But what if our failure is really not failure but faith. Faith that God can take the few minutes we have to offer and use them in ways we cannot begin to imagine. What if we choose to believe in the possibility of the Gospel?

Today, carve out some time to read Luke 1. And if you can’t read the whole chapter, just make it a point to read verses 26 – 38. What God was calling Mary to do and believe felt impossible … but she was reminded of a truth we often forget — with God nothing is impossible. For the next 24 days I invite you to let go of your expectations and instead echo the heart of Mary, offering your whole self as a servant of the Lord, willing to be used however He decides.

A question to ponder and discuss: What feels impossible this holiday season?

Maybe that appeals to you? Maybe you’ve been waiting for someone to say it’s okay not to read that great book everyone else is reading and to remind you Christmas isn’t a failure if you don’t have a Jesse tree or special Advent calendar. Maybe you just need someone to come alongside you in the midst of all the real life busy you can’t avoid or escape and say, “It’s okay.”

That’s what I want to offer you … the beautiful truth that you can’t do it all and that doesn’t make you a failure. Accept the impossibility of what you can do this season …. and find freedom in embracing the very real possibilities God offers us instead.

Because you doing it all this Christmas is impossible ... but God at work in you and through you makes what is possible even more amazing!

Because you doing it all this Christmas is impossible … but God at work in you and through you makes what is possible even more amazing! Consider this your invitation to embrace the possible for the next 24 days … join me on Facebook as I share a journey through the Gospel of Luke and the wonder and beauty of all that is POSSIBLE!

Ready for 24 days of POSSIBLE?

See you on Facebook!
TL

What feels impossible to you this holiday season?

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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