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#GoingGreen or Bust!

Going Green...what does that mean really?  What it means to me may be different than what it means to you but no matter the definition or how we "go green" our goal is the same; make our city, home, world we live in a better place.  You could say by going green we are becoming a better Created Woman!  Hmmm...I like that!

This month, Created Woman is going #GoingGreen (tweet that girlfriends) and we're bringing the fun and the sassy with us!  From fabulous fashions, to a new, all-natural cosmetic line  you MUST try, plus our Created Woman of the month who really is living out the "Green Life."  There are so many ways we can make the world around us a better place so hopefully this month we'll give you a few extra tools to do that with - ones that are easy & smart at the same time!

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Share our Created Moments Video, Created Woman is #GoingGreen, with your friends to let them know what's going on this month at CW! (OOPS!  It's a little windy on the video )

Enjoy becoming & being the woman you were created to be!

Serious Business

We've become too busy. It's tragic, really. We rush from place to place, make coffee dates in what little spare time we have, and find new ways to fill our time just in case we're not being productive enough. I know I've been guilty of this. When people ask how we're doing, "I'm just so busy."  I feel like one thing I didn't realize well enough while I was in school and running around like a crazy person was that I needed to make time for the things that actually made me happy. Charles Eames once wrote, "Take your pleasures seriously." And Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 says, "I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?"  We have to take our pleasures seriously, because they are actually gifts from God Himself.

My mother is a perfect example of this. When I was a young girl, she was a single parent living in a new city taking care of my sister and I. No matter how hard things were or how tight bills became, she always found a way to get her nails done. Not in an "I-don't-care-if-my-electricity-gets-cut" way, but in an "I-work-hard-and-this-is-one-thing-I-do-for-myself" way. For whatever reason, shiny red nails made her feel strong and happy. Of course, she could have written them off as a waste of money. But I think she understood that all the things she had to do depended on her feeling strong and happy. I think we could all use a little more strong and happy, couldn't we?

No matter how busy you get or how many people ask you out to coffee, make time to do the things that make you happy. One thing that makes me happy is traveling. My husband was raised differently and traveling wasn't really a top priority for him, but as we've been married, he's learned that it's something I need. So, we make it a priority. I've met mothers who make working out a priority because it's their "me" time. Maybe you enjoy a good book or movie but never find time for them.  Whatever those things are that let you breathe deeply and that you take pleasure in, make sure you're doing them! Because while the world does need you, it needs a strong and happy you!

Hot - Cold - Lukewarm

Where does your mind immediately take you when you hear the words hot, cold, or lukewarm?  No doubt, five people would have five different answers.  So that we are all on the same page as we think about these three words, may I suggest that we use them as a means of examining our relationship with God. Come with me to The Church at Laodicea where God had sent the Apostle John to address the Christians.  I know you well - -you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other!  But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit (spew) you out of my mouth!” [Rev. 3:15-16]

Whoa—back up!  Let me read that again!  “I wish you were hot or cold, but if you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.” I don’t know about you, but that word lukewarm grabbed my attention.  Why, that’s the same thing I do to a mouth full of lukewarm coffee!  It is so disgusting to me that I immediately spit it out of my mouth!  Would God really do that to me if I were a lukewarm Christian?

Questions buzzed around in my brain.  What precisely does lukewarm mean?  A quick Goggle search yielded this definition as it pertained to a person’s attitude or action:  UNENTHUSIASTIC.

My next buzz questions was:  What caused The Church of Lacodicea to become unenthusiastic that produced a lukewarm attitude in regards to their relationship with God?  I believe we find the answer in verse 17:  “You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.”

You see, the city of Laodicea was affluent, rich, and prosperous.  It was known for 3 main things:  wealth, black-wool textile industry, and housed a world-renowned medical school which discovered a miracle eye-salve.  The city was so rich that it needed no financial assistance from Rome in rebuilding after a major earthquake.  So, we have Christians living in the richest commercial center of the ancient world, which, no doubt, yielded them much personal wealth.

Next buzz question:  Is Jesus scolding them for being wealthy?  I don’t think so.

It was then that I had my  “Aha moment.” Could it be that The Church of Laodicea had become so secure and self-reliant in their natural habitat and had no need of anything, that the same self-reliant attitude had spilled over into their spiritual life and their relationship with God?

It took me back to my early years of being a Christian where I was totally dependent upon God to supply every piece of clothing I wore, food for my family, and His guidance to solve all my problems. I jumped out of bed in the early mornings hours to talk with the King of Kings before rushing off to work.  Oh yeah, the two of us were engrossed in a very intimate relationship with one another and I relied totally upon Him for everything.

Had I now developed an attitude that seemed to be apparent in The Laodicean Christians?  “You are no longer hot and enthused in your pursuit of me; you are not excited and on fire about the faith.”   “You are not cold either, because you have not left the faith, you still go to church, call me your Savior, but---------

I didn’t like the sound of where this nudge might be leading, so I went quickly into my prayer closet to do some soul searching.

How about you?  Have you become self-reliant and handling things all by yourself lately?

Good news!!   We are God’s children; He really does not want to spit us out of his mouth.  So, He has provided a way out of being lukewarm.“ For whom the Lord loves, I rebuke and chasten.” “Be zealous therefore and repent.” (vs 19)

“I already feel my spiritual temperature warming up.”

"What's Hot about being Single anyway?

The conversation went something like this;  Me: “So you just graduated from college, congratulations!  What are going to do now?” Girl: “I’m going to Europe to work at a resort for a year.”  Me: “Wow, that’s great!  I wish I had done something like that when I was still single and could.  No worries at all, just get up and go!”  Girl: “Yeah, it’s going to be great!” Oh to be single, carefree and no ties!  That’s the life!  Single ladies, don’t humdrum around about being single thinking, “Where’s my man?”  This is one of the best times of your life if you just embrace it.  The young lady I talked to about going to Europe got it; she received her education to plan for her future but before she settled into the routine of life, she is embracing the freedom she has taking the adventure of a lifetime.

Whether it’s Europe, a trip to the beach, taking risk you’ve been afraid of taking or moving to another city for a job; the possibilities are almost endless when you are hot and single!  And just so you know, age does not appply nor does the fact you may have recently found yourself single again.  If you are single, you are hot and single!  Here are a few more hot ideas to try out while you are single.

 

  • Interview for a job in the city of your dreams.  It could be your dream job or just a job that pays so you can live in a city that you always wanted to visit.
  • Grab some girlfriends and take weekend getaway to a spa or anywhere else you want to go.  Don’t wait for the phone to ring to get invited; you do the inviting!  Road trips with friends are great memories.
  • Take a week off from work for a “stay-cation,” a week at home doing all the fun stuff in your city.  Hiking, biking, visiting the hot spot restaurants, dance clubs, whatever you think is cool.   Take a look back at Stacy’s blog, “Havin’ Fun in the Summer Time” to get your wheels turning even more.
  • Girl-friend time - Chick-flicks, poolside with snacks and drinks, mani-pedi, shopping….the list is endless.
  • Something I wish I did more often, go visit a friend who has moved away and spend a weekend with them laughing about old times and making some new great memories.  No need to wait on someone else to take a trip, plan your own!
  • Speed dating…I said it!  If I were single, I would hit the speed dating where you get a 5-minute date with several different guys and your done.  No computer trying to figure out the best match taking all kind of personal information, just 5 minutes of FACE-TO-FACE time….something that’s missed in our electronic world.  It’s fun, fast and safe because your not giving out any personal information, just talking in a safe environment where you actually SEE whom you are talking to.  What a novel idea! Plus, no cheesy pick-up lines!

It’s a risk to enjoy life while you are still single, are you up for it?  I think you are and I believe in you.  Be wise in the process though; don’t blow through your savings or milk off your parents or friends.  Be smart in the process because you never know who your going to meet along the way and you don’t want to be a financial burden to your future husband.  But be brave and go out and enjoy life now, while you are single!

 

That’s What’s HOT about being single!

Share some of your ideas about what's hot about being single.

What One Person Can Do for Jesus

Easter Sunday - - -the day we celebrate The Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In the week prior to Easter each year, by way of the scriptures, I visit the sites of  “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”  I enter The Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was betrayed.  I stroll down the Via Dolorosa path trying to visualize the sights and sounds of that horrendous day.  Moving past the city gates of Jerusalem, I make my way to Golgotha, where He died on the cross.  Ending my visit at the tomb, I leave rejoicing that He is not there.

During my visit this year, not only was my heart filled with gratitude for what Jesus did for me, but it was also stirred with an awareness of what common ordinary people were doing for Jesus.  I invite you to pay a visit to these people with me, and let’s examine our own lives to see what one person can do for Jesus.

1.  Mark 14:1-9 - - One Woman Did What She Could - A certain woman heard that Jesus would soon die and wanted to prepare his body for burial.  While He was eating at the home of Simeon, the Leper, she came into the house with an alabaster jar of  expensive perfume and poured it over his head.  The people rebuked her harshly for not selling the perfume and giving the money to the poor.  But Jesus said:  “Let her alone. She has done what she could.  She has done a beautiful thing for me.  The poor you will always have with you and you can help them any time; but I  won’t be here much longer.When we do what we can do with the abilities we have, or give of those things we treasure the most, we are doing a beautiful thing for Jesus.

2. Mark 15:17-21 - - One Man Carried The Cross - Jesus was sentenced to die and began his journey to the site of the crucifixion. The Romans recognized that Jesus had grown weak and ready to faint under the load of the cross and feared he would die before he got to the site.  So, they drafted Simon of Cyrene, a visitor to the city, to carry the cross for Jesus. When we help carry the burden of someone who has grown tired and weary,  we are doing a beautiful thing for Jesus.

3.  Mark 15:42 - - One Man Risked Persecution - After the crucifixion had taken place, Joseph of Arimathea, went in boldly to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus for burial. He did this knowing he could incur displeasure, reproach, and persecution of the Jews. He was not ashamed of being associated with Jesus nor afraid to appear in his behalf. When we are willing to risk the persecution of others to be obedient to His call on our lives, we are doing a beautiful thing for Jesus.

4.  Mark 16:  9-13--One Woman Told the Story of His Resurrection - Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene, a woman whom he had cast out seven devils, came to the tomb.  Not finding him there, they fled trembling and bewildered. Soon, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene.  Running to his weeping disciples, Mary shouted, “HE’S ALIVE!”   Bible commentaries say it is possible that Jesus made His first appearance to this woman to show us as an example of his abounding grace. When we catch a glimpse of grace, God’s unmerited favor, we will do a beautiful thing for Jesus by sharing the gospel with everyone we meet.

(5)  Luke 23:39 - - One Man Accepted Jesus as his Savior - As Jesus hung between two criminals on the cross, the conversation went like this: First thief:    “So, you are the Messiah, are you?”  “Prove it by saving yourself and us, too!” Second thief:  “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.”  Jesus said:  “Today, you will be with me in Paradise.” When we accept Jesus as our Savior, not only are we doing it for our eternal life, but we are doing it for him so that His suffering will not be in vain.

Conclude:  When we think of the Easter story, may our hearts cherish what Jesus did for us.  But, when we think of  ordinary people like you and me, may we be reminded of what one person can do for Jesus.  Could it be that what we do for Jesus will also be written down as a memorial to us like these people?  Oh, I long to hear Him say:  “Well, done, my good and faithful servant.”

SXSW. Austin, Texas. 2011

Austin, Texas Fashion: Unique, soulful, diverse, authentic, and comfortable. Land of no judgment. Pure expression. The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) is the annual spring convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Discovery dominates the weeklong celebration and fosters both creative and professional growth alike. To have the indie music and film lovers visiting our city for 10 days just exponentiates the heart and soul of Austin. The independent theme of self-expression is celebrated in many different forms that are as unique as the thousands of people who attended.

With high tech and the University of Texas, the entire world is represented here in Austin with people from all over the globe living, working, studying, playing, and yes… listening to music. Standing side by side a bohemian lovely in a long flowy skirt, t-shirt, Birkenstocks and dreads will be a woman in a power suit and heels. Each one feels like they belong. There’s no judgment. Well, I take that back, if there is judgment here in Austin, it’s because someone senses fake, imitation or a façade. Being comfortable in your own skin is what Austinites really care about. (Being comfortable practically is also high priority!) That vibe creates a film/music/technology festival that only Austin can birth.

This year’s SXSW was the best yet, with a new fashion event that celebrates the long-standing relationship between music and style. The theme was “Emerging Fashion from Around the World” and it was yet another avenue of discovery- what is on the frontier of fashion. Check out www.stylexaustin.com to taste the unique, soulful, diverse, authentic, and comfortable world of fashion on display here in Austin at Style X.

Valentine Shmalentine

I have never been much for Valentine's Day. I'm actually not crazy about many holidays but Valentine's Day just seems especially unnecessary. However, when Kristian and I first started dating I can't say I wasn't excited to have someone to celebrate this otherwise lame holiday with.On our first Valentine's Day together, Kristian went all out. He told me to get dressed but there were no specific instructions, just don't wear heels. I waited in anticipation the entire day wondering what he had up his sleeve. I bought him a few gifts that I knew he would enjoy, new shoes and a book about art techniques, since at the time he was very into art. I also gave him a journal full of things I had written that I thought would help him get to know me better. When he finally picked me up I was in a new dress and flats. We drove to a place I had never been before, a park just 15 minutes from my house! He handed me a rose and walked me into the woods where he set up a tent and was making dinner inside. Oh my gosh, how romantic! We ate dinner and exchanged gifts and with this being the first Valentine's Day I ever really cared about, everything seemed perfect.

The next year we moved to Florida and spent Valentine's Day riding around on scooters and discovering our new city. This was its own kind of romantic. We were on a new adventure and so excited to be doing life together. To be honest I can't really remember what we did the year after that. I'm sure it involved flowers and dinner though. And this year, well, we both have to work so our Valentine's Day will probably be spent with a quick chat over the phone.

Now this isn't to depress anyone or to say that we get any less romantic as time passes. In fact, I don't think we need one day to show someone we love them or expect to be spoiled by our significant others. I can only hope that as Kristian and I get older and things continue to change, we still remind each other everyday how much we love each other. As cheesy as it may sound, I hope that we don't ever need Valentine's Day to celebrate each other. Don't get me wrong, its nice to have one day where you can say "Okay, we're going on a date, no work, no wedding planning, no chaos, just a normal dinner", but that day won't be tomorrow... and that's okay! Maybe you have lots going on, wedding plans, work, maybe kids, but whatever the busy circumstance take a minute each day and let the people you love know that. Life is too short to wait for one day a year to make someone feel special. Surprise your husband with a new watch (or new lingerie) any old day! Give your boyfriend that x-box game he's been asking for... I know it'll take away from your "quality time" together, but lets be honest, he stops listening after the first 10 minutes of your story anyway. Splurge on any random day of the week and just see how it changes the mood of the relationship. Even if you are a roses and chocolates kind of girl, the more time you spend figuring out nice things for your man, the more he'll actually think about getting things you like. Not that that's the point... but hey, it doesn't hurt.

Hungry for Hummus?

Chickpeas are the core ingredient to this healthy food, loaded with protein. Hummus is popular in the Middle East and is also commonly found in Mediterranean-style meals. However, it is now quite popular in the US, costs pennies to make and less than fifteen minutes of prep time. My recipe is a "mas o menos," which means more or less. Adjust the ingredients to your particular taste.

Ingredients

1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo, with liquid

juice of 1 fresh lemon

2 T. tahini*

2 cloves of roasted garlic**

1/8 c. olive oil

salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with pita chips, raw veggies or use as a spread on a sandwich or wrap.

*Sesame seed paste can be purchased at any grocery store with a healthy food section.

**My daughter taught me to a quick-roast garlic, just place the cloves in a nonstick pan on medium heat and turn them until they're lightly browned on all sides.

Variations

Substitute any of the following for a twist:

roasted red bell pepper, roasted jalapeno, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives

Black Friday Fever

Ah yes ladies, it's that time of year again. Each year, no matter where I spend Thanksgiving, I end up in the same place on Black Friday. The mall. I will take any mall, in any city, at any time. Dare me. In fact, that's kind of the point. While listening to all of the Black Friday mumbo jumbo in days leading up to the "busiest shopping day of the year", I heard so many interviews with women saying they loved Black Friday for the sport. I thought, "Wow, women really are crazy." Until I got to the mall at 7:30 this morning and thought "Hm, finding a parking spot was so easy... I'm going to get so much good stuff before anyone else!". In that moment I found myself a victim of the bloodsport. Just another crazed woman at the mall.
The Tradition
I must say it should come as no surprise that I love the game of beating other shoppers to great deals. I have been shopping Black Friday sales since before I can remember. I've been a tag along since before I even enjoyed shopping. Now that was a while ago. Those were the days, before the internet leaked the sales and people paid others off to hold their spot in line. Just good, clean, fighting over Tickle Me Elmo's. Though I have to admit I am glad we have evolved in some ways.
For instance, yesterday while at work I browsed Ideeli.com, one of my favorite discount websites. They had "Black Friday" deals all week, including $50 cashmere and closeout prices on Calvin Klein accessories. After drooling over those deals I hopped over to Cybermonday.com, which was equally as awesome. Coupons galore and all the scoop on the weekend sales.
It's true-- I have given in to the internet leaks and the coupon codes, but its time you do too! If you missed out on the Black Friday deals because you wanted to "avoid the crowds," get some Christmas (or personal) shopping done with the rest of your weekend. Tomorrow has been declared "Small Business Saturday" and of course Monday is "Cyber Monday." So put yourself out there, you still have time to beat someone to a deal they didn't even know about!

October Monthly Wrap up

Every Year the month of October turns Pink.  Everywhere you look pink products line the shelves of stores, celebrities walk pink carpets and pink ribbons flaunt everything from t-shirts to fingernail polish.   No matter where you live, all sorts of fundraisers and benefits pop up all around the city to help find a cure for the disease that has affected every woman. October is known nationally as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Austin

In Austin, the 2nd annual Stiletto Stampede for the cure benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation dashed off on Saturday, October 16th.  Hundreds of women met at the Hill Country Galleria for the high heel dash (100 yards) with a mission to encourage young women and men to know and understand the risks of breast cancer and empower them to prevent the disease by utilizing overall Breast Self-Awareness through early detection, screening methods and education.

http://www.stilettostampede4thecure.org/

Hollywood

Celebrities showed up in droves a month early in September for the Stand Up to Cancer Telethon.  The star studded benefited raised resources for breast cancer as well as all kinds of cancer.  Christina Applegate who is a breast cancer survivor was just one of the celebrity survivors who answered phones for Stand up for Cancer this year.

Nationally

But one of the biggest fundraisers happens all year round.  The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure takes place all throughout the country and it’s not too late for you to register for one.  For over 25 years, The Komen Race for the Cure Series raises significant funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrates breast cancer survivorship, and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease.

If you would like to register for a race near you, click here for all the races throughout the year.

Think Pink!