course

The Journey: Life of a single girl

The Journey of singleness is a gift, an adventure, turbulent and chaotic at times, heartbreaking and rewarding all wrapped in one big bow.   Exploring who you are as an individual is really only possible to its fullest while single.  How amazing that is!  Of course, there were times when I felt like I was on the single journey way too long.  But as I look back on my journey, there isn’t one thing I would change….the good, the bad and the ugly!

Every season of our lives has a reason, a story to tell, a lesson to be learned, an adventure to be had, a heart to mend and learn from.  It’s life, and life is a continuous voyage into the next season.  Today, single women are finally getting noticed for more than just being single.  We’ve figured out that, although we are not married, we are strong and intelligent, make mistakes just like everyone else, date the wrong guys, own our very own companies, serve, are wonderful friends; we are on the journey just like the rest of the world.

Life goes by too fast and is too short to live in the future always thinking, “When this happens, life will be amazing.”  The journey of life is every season and creates us into the woman we were created to be.  Embrace it, love it, live it!  I embrace my past, the lessons I learned, the friends I made and the escapades I experienced.  There all “things” that made me who I am today…. they’re all a part of my journey.  The Journey of singleness helped me identify who I was as a woman and who my husband fell in love with.  It’s the journey that taught be how to be strong, confident, soft, loving, alive and worth the wait.

Today, as I reflect on the years past, I’m thankful for all that God has given, brought and loved me through.  It’s all set me on the journey to becoming the woman I was created to be and embracing who I am today.   Single ladies, you are worth the wait!  So embrace your journey, love it, live it!

Now, While You Are Single.

[title subtitle="Now, while you are single: Walking out your purpose before you say 'I do'"][/title]

Now, While You Are Single is a practical guide to help women discover and embrace their true identity in Christ through a journey of healing, ultimately revealing God’s purpose and plan for their life while they are single. 

books_created

 

Purchase for you or as a gift here

[title subtitle="Design Labs"][/title]

Single ladies! We will be hosting Design Labs in the Austin area this summer featuring Heather’s book. Follow us on Facebook for dates & times.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

In just a few weeks, summer will  be in full swing.School will be out and summer  camps, swimming parties and sleepovers will begin. As a child ,my siblings and I always spent part of our summer break with our grandparents and that meant antics with the cousins, evenings in the back yard gazing at the stars and of course, family dinners. Flour tortillas, made daily, were served with every meal and younger women learned the art of kneading and rolling from the older women.

Here are four generations of women in our family (circa 1984). On the left is my Mom ,Sarah, holding Karah. I stand behind pig-tailed Kala and Grandma Dora is on the right. Her kitchen was the center of the home and where I learned that food has the power to pull people together.

Fast forward 25+ years. Kala is no longer wearing pigtails but holding her baby girl, Ava ,who was 18 months old when we started teaching her how to maneuver around the kitchen.

Ingredients

4 ½ c. flour

2 t. baking powder

2 1/2 t. salt

1 c. shortening

1 c. hot water

Just a few weeks ago she had her first experience with a rolling pin.

Step 1

Place all dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Add hot water slowly and knead  to make a large dough ball.

Pinch off pieces almost the size of golf balls and create small dough balls. Click here to see a video of this process.Lay each piece on the counter and roll back and forth, then lift, make a 1/4 turn, lay on the counter and repeat 2-3 times until your raw tortilla is more or less round (this takes practice) and no thicker than 1/4 in.

Place on a preheated griddle and cook on either side until light to medium brown spots are visible.

Ideally, you should cool them on a rack. When they're completely cooled off, you  can store them in a large ziploc bag and they won't stick to each other.

Food=family and family =love

I'm a fan of  traditions. They make people  feel safe because they are reminders of WHOSE we are. You can leave your Fingerprint on the lives of others by keeping traditions alive with your biological family, a neighborhood  or workplace family. The important thing is to give life to traditions that create memories of love, laughter and truth.

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!

New Beginnings; CW launches into 2012

May 2012 will mark the 2-year anniversary of Created Woman Blogazine!  It’s seems like only yesterday the team was sitting around a table, excited with anticipation and wondering what would become of CW.  Our passion was just simply Women; single girls, fashionistas, CEO's, mommies or adventurous - we love them all! It was definitely a leap of faith that was so exciting and so scary, all at the same time.  But that’s what happens when you begin to step into your destiny, becoming who you were created to be. To me, that’s what resolutions should be about every year; making a promise to be the woman you were created to be, both inside and out, and carving out the steps to get there.

As we step into 2012, we wanted to share some of the ways we plan to stay the course for 2012 in our own personal lives.  We hope, too, that as we grow at CW, you’ll continue to share your life with us. We hope to watch as you reach new heights, begin new journeys, and continue to down the path of becoming all the you were created to be!

 

Nadia began as our bride-to-be last year and now, as a newlywed, her writing marries fashion with outreach. She's  showing us how we can be stylish and socially aware at the same time.

“My resolutions are to love better, to budget wisely, and to travel more!”

Martha has always been a writer with a passion to educate.  From her Saturday morning devotionals to her passion for the world around us, Martha teaches us so many lessons in each article.

“I have a dream of being accepted by a publisher to publish my first book”

Nichole  is a recent graduate of the University of Texas and is embarking on a new season of life. She'll be starting as an English teacher in the fall and will continue sharing her journey with our CW readers.

"I want to be better at quality time with people and remembering birthdays. I want to travel to a new city,  start taking Pure Barre classes, and read at least one book a week. Oh, and be a GREAT teacher!"

Cheryl is a diverse writer for CW. From fashion, to outreach, to food,  she's a phenomenal speaker who covers it all.  Her life experiences show just what it means to live out who you were created to be and inspires those around her to do the same through her ministry Mosaic Life Network.  Cheryl is a friend who always launches dreams!

“I would like to engage with family and close friends on a deeper level.  Rich conversations, sending cards and significant moments are important to me.  Life happens so fast, at times, I tend to operate in task mode - I plan on slowing down and taking delight in those special moments.”

Coby is a hairstylist who understands that the uniqueness of each woman must shine through, from hair to toe.  Coby’s own unique style of writing comes through in every article like a cheer spurring us on to new heights in our relationships and life journeys.

“I want to trust that I am capable, God is faithful and the best is yet to come.”

Crystal is CW's source for living well.  Launching her brand new business this year, Your Fitness Designer, Crystal has shared her 20 years of experience in the health and wellness field.  She is living out who she's created to be and keeps things simple this year, outside of building a business.

"This year, I want to add yoga into my workouts once a week"

Yvonne leaves her fingerprint wherever she goes!  As our first published author of Fingerprint: Uniquely Marked for  Purpose, she leads our Saturday morning devotional team, leaves our mouth watering on so many Monday Meals, and has a passion to honor women who are living out their destiny.  Thanks for your Fingerprint!

“This year I plan to love my family best by taking care of myself emotionally, spiritually and physically.”

Kala, just like her mother Yvonne, crafts her life experiences into simple, 'easy to relate to' nuggets of inspirations that are life changing.  She just published her first Monday Meal as well and we can’t wait to steal some of her kitchen masterpieces.

“This year I plan on taking time to make new friends and keep the ones I already have.  No more excuses!  I also want to learn French, but that might have to wait until 2013.”

Jessica is another girl who has so many talents; she’s the girl that can do anything!  Fashion, Health, cupcakes and more…this girl will keep anyone on their toes and is the kind of friend everyone should have.

“Looking at my schedule for the coming year with working full-time, a hard-core school load, and making time family my 'resolution' list is not nearly as long as it usually is...and that's ok with me. Some things just have to wait for other, more important ones.  Love Jesus - Laugh a lot - Get enough sleep.”

Heather- As the founder of Created Woman and a new mom, my life is full of many joys.  My resolutions for 2012 are to continue bringing you amazing, talented women to share their lives with you; to enjoy all the special moments with my little girl, Hadley; to never stop taking pictures of her; and to find the best shoes to wear at the best prices!

Thanks for being a part of Created Woman, a fashion blog that highlights family, health, fun and personal living!

Planning for the future at CW

Dinner For One - The Ultimate Guest

Getting ready for a dinner party can be quite exhausting at times even for the hostess with the mostess.  Planning the menu from appetizers to dessert, drinks, entertainment, and of course, the table setting that always acts as your center piece is quite a check lists before your guests arrive.  But sometimes, dinner for just one special person can be even more of a stressor simply because that one is so important they’re the only one on the guest list. As a single girl, there were many time my ‘plus one’ for dinner was just simply My Heavenly Father; lots of times it wasn’t even by choice.  Whether it was dinner or breakfast, I soon realized those one-one-one dates not only became the best dates ever, but were used as a tool to show me how a real man should wine & dine me.  God, who is the ultimate gentlemen in every way, spoke to my heart lovingly showing me how valuable I was and always pulled out the chair for me (in a matter of speaking)!  His conversations were intriguing, he listened intently without having one eye on the television and He never forgot what I had told him.  I quickly learned to look forward to our dinner dates and always gave my best to Him.

During those sweet dinners with that special one, He molded me into a wife that was worth finding, too, as I learned to respect Him, love Him, submit to Him and obey His word.  It wasn’t all about my needs after all; it was about the journey to Him and Him shaping me into the Woman He had and has created me to be.  I can’t imagine where I would be without those special dates with that one very special guest where I learned so much about life and His plan for mine.

Even today, I still have those one-on-ones, but they look more like early morning coffee dates.  And even though they’re still sweet, tender moments, nothing will ever compare to the moments when there were no other distractions that only singleness provides.  No matter what the circumstance though, having Jesus as your own personal ‘plus one’ is ultimately the best date you will ever have!  Simply stated, He is the best Dinner for One you will ever plan for!

 

More Reading:

For more on single living, order Heather’s book, “Now, While You Are Single” by emailing created@createdwoman.net.

Making Dreams Come True

Opening the email, the first sentence read, “Would you like to bless some people?”  My immediate thought was, “Of course.  Who doesn’t like to bless people?”  Jennifer and Chad were going to be married in two months, November 11, 2011.  Their lives had changed dramatically within one week.  They lived in Bastrop, Texas, where fires burned businesses and residents for over a week.  Their home and the venue they were to be married in were burned to the ground.  The Oaks Events Center staff met with Jennifer and Chad two days after receiving that email. Jennifer’s face beamed.  She smiled from ear to ear when she walked into the bridal suite.  Her eyes met with the ornate gold hook that her wedding dress would hang on and a tear rolled down her cheek.  It was a look I will never forget; surprise, joy, and peace.  As an Event Manager, the most important rule is; if the bride is happy, everyone else is happy.  Chad had a sense of relief as he watched his bride to be have a moment of joy in the midst of loss.

There was a huge sense of community in the two months preparing for Jennifer and Chad’s wedding.  From linens, to Tiki torches, to a sunset wedding ceremony on the front lawn, cake, catering, an evening of laughing and dancing, and bubble blowing as a farewell to the bride and groom; the day was spectacular.  The Bastrop community, friends and family of the bride and groom, and The Oaks Events Center all pulled together to make Jennifer and Chad’s dream come true on their wedding day.

Stacy loves to share with groups of people; to Inspire you to dream big, to Empower you to become better in spirit, mind, and body; and to challenge you to Share what you have learned with others. Some of the topics she is passionate about are: health and fitness, relationships, leadership, communication and conflict resolution within any environment. She has been on staff at her home church, Shoreline Church, in Austin Texas since 2002. She is the Event Manager at Shoreline Church and The Oaks Events Center.  To learn more about Stacy, please visit her website www.stacymcvane.com.

Fashioned From the Inside Out

It was Easter Sunday as I dressed my two little girls, ages 3 and 7, for church.  It was the 70’s and Winnie the Pooh dresses, a frilly Easter bonnet, and white patent leather shoes were in style.  At last we were ready to put our hats on and leave for church. That’s when the fight with my three-year-old began.  “I not wearing dat hat,” she loudly proclaimed!  “Of course, you are wearing this hat; this is what I bought for you to wear;  please wear it for Mommy!”   “NO!”  “I don’t like it, I don’t like it,” she screamed.

I couldn’t believe I was having a FASHION tug of war with my three-year-old on Easter Sunday of all times. Thirty minutes later, off to church she marched in the Winnie the Pooh dress, minus the Easter bonnet.  Little did I know that this episode was the beginning of many tug of war matches the two of us would have in the years to come.

The 80’s came along and with them came “the fly bangs.”  “You’d look so cute with straight bangs and a long pony tail,”  I insisted.  “NO!  I want fly bangs.”  And so, I stood back and  cringed as I watched her brush those bangs to the left and right, and then plaster them down with hair spray.  She’d then march out of the house; a very confident eight-year-old that she was in style.

As a parent, I thought it was my duty to introduce her to activities that would enrich her life, as well as prepare her for adulthood.  Thus, I enrolled her in piano lessons.  “NO!”  “That’s not what I want to do!”  “I want to take dancing lessons,” she protested.  Again I insisted, “You need to learn to play the piano so you can be the church pianist when you grow up.”  “Besides, I’m afraid if you learn to dance, you might go to un- Godly places.”  “But,  Mama, I don’t want to be a belly dancer, I just want to dance!”  Of course, she won again.

By eighteen, it was time to think about career options.  Being a schoolteacher myself, I thought it was the perfect job for a woman.  I just knew this child of mine who had been protesting everything I had ever suggested for her to do, starting with the Easter bonnet, would love teaching.  Can’t genetics spill out from me just one time in my life to this child?  But, the all familiar protest of  “NO,  I want to major in Fashion Merchandise.”

And with that, I finally gave up trying to be my daughter’s Fashion Designer, both Inside and OutShe had a mind of her own of what she wanted to wear, as well as what she wanted to become.  But in the process, I learned a very valuable lesson from those tug-of-matches.  The way the limb on a tree is bent, is the way it will grow.  You can’t unbend the limb and make it grow in the opposite way that it was formed.

My little girl is all grown up now and a Mom herself.  Her name is Heather, the creator of CREATED WOMAN,  which is being viewed by thousands each month here in the United States and several countries abroad.

Heather’s vision for this website is to encourage women to become all that God has created them to be both inside and out.  Included in her vision statement for this site, she states:  “Being a Created Woman touches every single part of the world you live in!  Living out your full potential in every stage of your life whether you’re a teenager, college student, single woman or mom, married with children, career woman or grandmother, your life will leave a legacy!”

I have to believe that Heather’s vision started with her saying “No” to an Easter bonnet that she felt was not right for her to wear, and “Yes” to the call of God on her life as she allowed HIM to Fashion Her From the Inside Out to become what He created and formed her to be in my womb.   [Psalm 139:13-16]

What about you?  What are you saying “No” and “Yes” to in order to pursue the plan and purpose that God has bent, shaped, fashioned, and uniquely designed you to be?

Emmy Awards Fashion 2011 Roundup

Primetime Television never looked so good!  With a year that's seen so many changes in television from cancellations of long-running soap operas replaced by 'reality' TV to new shows that look like they were filmed in the '60's, the night brought out your favorite weekly stars to celebrate the new look of TV.  Thankfully, we got to see some familiar faces as well and I must say, I wasn't disappointed!  Of course,  my favorite is the seeing the stars glide down the red carpet.  Here are a few of my favorite red carpet moments.

Sophia Vergara in Vera Wang

I love the color against her skin and she looks effortlessly with her beautiful brown hair.

The 1920's trend showed up on  he runway during fashion week and it's already made it's way to the red carpet with the 2 following stars.

 Evan Rachel Wood in Elie Saab

Simply sleek with a 1920's hairstyle to compliment her beautiful black ensemble.

Aubrey Plaza in Juan Carlos Obando

 The beautiful, white  dress was reminiscent of the flapper era polished off by her hairdo of the same look.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Pucci

Who says a rockin' hot mom can't rock a mid-drift at the Emmy's?

 

Jane Lynch in David Meister

The night's host looked beautiful and age appropriate.  She's one funny girl who actually understands how to dress.

 

Katie Holmes in Calvin Klein

 Choosing one of Fall's bright colors never looked so easy as only Calvin can do!

 

The Color of the night was Red and these stars looked hot!

 

Tell us who your favorite was

 

 

Representing the new face of TV, the cast of Charlie's Angels.  All three showed their individuality.

 

Funny Moment of the Night

It may not have been a fashion moment but it's one we have to mention.  In the category of best supporting actress in a comedy, all the nominees stormed the stage like a beauty pageant to hold hands waiting for the winner to be announced.  It was a first for the show and ended with the biggest laugh as they crowned the winner...literally, with a crown!

 

 

Zeo Dechenel in Monique Lhuillier

Although she was crowned Fashion Police's worst dress by Joan Rivers, I loved her look!  Zoe is quirky and walks to the beat of her own drum and she didn't disappoint.  I thought her look was fresh and cute with a hint of the 1950's.  Plus, the dress had pockets that always come in handy!

Until next year, I hope you enjoyed our Emmy Fashion Roundup!

Party With a Purpose

I am a Princess I am very special

I am beautifully and wonderfully made

I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect

I am strong and I am smart

I promise to do my very best at everything I do…. Now and forever!

Once a Princess….always a Princess!

My Party Palace

My Party Palace in Round Rock, Texas is more than just a venue for little girls’ birthday parties although it is certainly stocked with tiaras, princess gowns, and every other accessory needed by a beautiful princess.

As well as  being a clean and attractive venue where a birthday princess can entertain her princess friends, it is a magical place where girls are encouraged  to dream about who and what they want to be.

 

Owner, Michelle Nieto Azuara, offers party packages that include tea parties, being crowned as a princess, and even an  adoption ceremony of a pink poodle. But there's more to My Party Palace than a magical makeup station.Their mission  is to empower girls of all ages and help  them understand that they are wonderfully and beautifully made in a setting of fantasy and fun.

 

Whether it's a birthday party, Summer Princess Camp or a Halloween event the message is the same,"You are beautiful, inside and out." Michelle says," We teach life lessons and instill self-worth into every girl that attends one of our parties. Sometimes Moms book a party just because she thinks her daughter will enjoy the fantasy aspect of The Palace and when they leave they tell me they tell me the girls leave with more than what they paid for."

- - Outreach - -

 

My Party Palace has a history of collaborating with agencies in the surrounding area by hosting social events, workshops, conferences, and seminars for less advantaged girls . They have provided makeovers and "My Special Day" affairs for middle school and high school girls with the assistance of  other like-minded organizations.

 

 

"There are those around us that aren't so blessed. We whole-heartedly believe  it is absolutely vital for all girls to know how valuable and precious they are. We believe that one special event, one special day, and one person can change the course of history for a girl."

 

"By encouraging girls to become all they were 'created to be,' I am' becoming all I was created to be."

-Michelle Nieto Azuara

 

To learn more about My Party Palace or to book your own event, go to:

http://www.mypartypalacerr.com/Round_Rock/Home_.html

Keep on...

With the wedding right around the corner I can admit that I've been putting other things off to ensure all the details of the wedding are complete. Since me and Kristian are working on a budget there are lots of hands going into this wedding. Not only are our parents helping, but our aunts, cousins, friends, pretty much anyone who offers help, we say yes to. Recently I had a newly engaged friend ask me how I limited the number of people my parents invited. My response was simple, I didn't have to because I didn't feel obligated to. This is mostly because we are paying for the bulk of the expenses but also because Kristian and I agreed that we knew the family friends that needed to be invited. Our parents were incredibly understanding in this aspect. After my friend mentioned it though, I realized how easy this wedding has been. Sure we're on a budget and have to be mindful of that and of course there have been stressful moments. For example right now, while I'm watching Say Yes to the Dress, textbooks buried under the computer, staring my messy living room in the eye and completely ignoring it. My brain is tired and doesn't feel like thinking about one more thing... even school. The enormity of the wedding task has been a little exhausting, but all in all, painless. Watching wedding shows I realize more and more how fortunate I've been to have supportive friends and inquizative family members. People are interested in how the wedding planning is coming, what we need, how they can help, and it's amazing. Since the last blog I've finalized the rehearsal dinner menu, gotten my dress altered, put guest bags together, started on making wedding programs, and have created a tentative schedule for the bridal party. Not to mention exams, homework, work, etc.. WHEW! But all this to say, whatever you're in the middle of, keep on keeping on. Even after the wedding, life will be busy and my brain will get overloaded and I'll have days where the dishes won't get done and homework will be pushed aside. But the craziness of this wedding has brought me closer to my family, my future in-laws, and has even helped me to develop new friendships. After the wedding madness I can look forward to all of the people who have stuck around and I can give myself a little pat on the back for keepin' on.