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Seeing is Believing....AFTER You're Obedient

  "For the word of the Lord holds true and we can trust everything he does,"

Psalm 33:4

 

Trusting in the Lord doesn't always look like a bright idea. Hear me out on this. Although we may know deep down inside that it's right, to other people, it may look odd, confusing or even crazy.

Are you willing to look a little crazy to get the best from God?

When the Lord told Noah to build an arc, there wasn't a drop of rain in the sky. It was probably a  picturesque day.

Despite what people thought of him and all the mean things they said both behind his back and to his face, Noah did what God asked him to do.

Time flew by and eventually a great flood came over the Earth. Noah was prepared. Who's laughing now?

Doing what God asks us to do may not be easy, but He always has our best interest at heart.

He gave Jeremiah one of the most popular scriptures to prove it. "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future."

 

Dear Jesus,

What you're asking of me is not easy and you know it. Although I want to do what  feels right to my flesh, I'm going to make every effort to walk in obedience . Jesus, I'm doing this for you and I thank you in advance for the reward I'll  receive because of it.

Genesis 22:18

Psalm 25:3

Get Your Spring On - Simple ways to give your wardrobe a lift

I so heart spring fashion! All the colors, light-weight fabrics, cute sandals, accessories and so much more! I usually start getting my spring wardrobe into shape right around this time. But with all the new trends, exciting styles, and colors for spring, it can be somewhat overwhelming and a bit expensive. The good news is – it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Here are some practical ways that will help give your wardrobe a lift without spending a fortune.

 Separate Your Seasons – This will help you get all the fall styles out of your closet so you can focus on spring styles. Just get a large storage bin to store your big chucky sweaters or if you have a big enough closet then just move it all to the very back.

Some more good news - here are a few fall styles you can still rock in the spring:

Skinny Color Cords – Spring can still be a bit cooler at times, so keep this suckers around!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Boy Friend Blazer – This classic piece is a great option when you feel like your top needs a little boost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bow-tie Blouse – It looks great with skinny jeans or cords and a pair of sandals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do The Inventory – Now that your fall wardrobe is out of sight, do an inventory of what you have and don’t have so that when it’s time to go shopping you can avoid over-spending and buying another white shirt when you already have three. It’s like grocery shopping but for clothes. You can take a mental note, make a list, or even take pictures to carry with you when it's time to go shopping.

Look For It – Before going out to shop for new items, get your grocery list out and look online to see what’s out there. This will save you so much time because it'll help you narrow down which stores to go to for exactly what you need.

 Giveaway

Sound like too much work? Well you're in luck! This month’s giveaway on Created Woman includes a wardrobe lift for someone in the Austin area from Wardrobe Forte. Just tweet or email Created Woman a picture of your closet and why you need help.

Email – created@createdwoman.net

Twitter - @createdwoman

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Globe Hits and Misses

  Typically, I don't count down to award shows. However, I do love the fashion that these events bring. This year it seems that stylists have outdone themselves. Perhaps Rachel Zoe has proven that if you're really good at your job, you too can have a reality show, and thus pushed stylists everywhere to work harder. The dresses this year were just amazing! Though where there are countless hits there are also some sad misses. I'll try to keep it brief, but let's start this magical fashion journey with a few of my favorites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ladies above truly came dressed to impress. While the list of impeccably dressed women is incessantly revolving in my memory bank, Angelina Jolie, Emma Stone, Jessica Alba, Paula Patton, etc., the ladies I chose were just a cut above the rest.

Now on to a few, er, shall we say, confused choices. There were more than a few misses, but the stylists responsible for the faux pas' below should maybe watch a little more Rachel Zoe Project. Or perhaps celebs should learn when to say no, like the next time they have a red carpet event and their stylist chooses something resembling any of the following...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I'm no Joan Rivers, Kelly Osborne, or any other claimed fashion authority. These are just humble opinions and observations from a girl who obviously watches a little too much Bravo (and perhaps just a dash of E). Feel free to chime in with your best and worst dressed opinons!

 

 

Bringing in the New Year In-Style

Out with the old, in with the new....new outfit that is!  Toss out those old, dull outfits and say goodbye to 2011 with not just a bang, but with a sparkle and pizzazz.  For all those high-class parties to the much needed night out with friends while the kids play somewhere else, we've got a style for every occasion to help you ring in 2012 in-style.

Sparkle

There's no better way to say 'hello' to a new year than with sparkles!  It screams 'here I am 2012, welcome!'  For the dare devils, head-to-toe works great or just a little sparkle in your shoe or purse still starts the celebration off right.

 

The shoe says it all!

For the classic girl, the perfect LBD can never be wrong or go unnoticed.  You can very easily pair with a little bling like the above glitter shoe or stay classic through and through like Reese Witherspoon.

For a more, if I dare to say, casual sparkle, try the ever so glamourous sequin pants.  Dress them up or dress them down with a simple white T and you are set to party in comfort!

Hem Length

Long

The maxi skirt and dress hit the stores in a big way the past couple of years and you can bet they will be a big hit on New Year's Eve.  Not only are they beautiful, but the long, flowy length is very comfortable  and allows you to breathe as you dance the night way.

Short

If you've got the legs, why not show them off?!  Short doesn't have to mean un-classy; it's all in the way you accessorize.  Here, Kim Kardashian adds a touch of class by pulling her hair back in a bun and Demi Lovata pairs the perfect black, short jacket to complete the look.

Color Trend

Winter white stood out on the red carpet this season and everyone can wear it!  Short, long, dressy and casual; it's the color of the season.

For all those winter white outfits, a nude shoe perfects the look!

Continuing with the winter white trend, the color gave a new twist to the tuxedo jacket for women.  Even J-Lo added the piece to her Kohls collection that all can afford.

Casual

For those of us that opt for a quiet dinner with friends, we can still bling it up a little with our jeans.  A little sparkle here and there help usher in the new year in comfort while not missing the bling-bling.

Don't forget the tops!  A fun, flirty, sparkle top keeps the party going all night without skipping a beat.

So no matter what your plans are as you say goodbye to your old friend 2011 and say hello to 2012, staying in style is as easy as saying, 'Happy New Year!"

Have fun, be safe and have a wonderful New Year!

 

 

 

 

Do these jeans make me look fat?

 Any friendship that has lasted for longer than a season has more than likely had to deal with some kind of offense. How we handle those situations can bring out the best or the worst in us at the time. Less frequent are the friendships that have weathered the storms of life and passed the test of time bringing you to the place of being able to tell someone the truth even if it hurts. Not all friendships meet this lofty criteria but everyone should have one.

 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; But the kisses of an enemy are profuse Proverbs 27:6

Go ahead read it again.... I had to. I read it over and over and let it really sink in. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Seriously? Yes, seriously. If you have been lucky enough to have the kind of friend that will look you in the eye and say "girl I love you but you are dead wrong" or " sorry love but your husbands right" or my favorite " are you asking? because if you're asking than yes, ...those jeans are not your friend".

Sometimes we just want people on our side but most of the time we need the truth. Its a friend who is faithful to tell us the truth even if it might hurt us. And yes, like Mary Poppins said " a teaspoon of sugar helps the medicine go down" but she still gave them the medicine.

So with this verse in mind let us be sure to be the kind of friend that can be honest in love when needed but also the kind of friend that receives a word of truth when needed.

Father, open our hearts to your wisdom about our friendships and about truth. Show us what you would have us do with both. Amen!!

 

 

 

 

 

Setting the Table

Preparing for the holidays thrills my soul.  The weather is cooler, well, it's supposed to be cooler.  We've had a few warm days, here in Texas.  I look forward to pulling out my boots and sweaters, and I think about decorating for the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas, in my world, mean lots of people. They mean tons of stories, games and laughter, music, great food and holiday decor.

One of my most-loved holiday customs is setting the table.  Preparing the table for Thanksgiving is no small thing in our home. It's a tradition that's been a part of our family for as long as I can remember.  Pulling out the china, cloth napkins and glassware is something I look forward to every year.  Once all the food is cooked and plated, everyone is seated around the table and ready to indulge in the much anticipated feast.  Then it begins; catching up with nieces and nephews, the retelling of hilarious events (often to someone's ultimate embarrassment), the loud belly laughs and the love that is not spoken of, but definitely felt.

As much as I appreciate a beautifully thought-out holiday table setting, creating atmosphere is of much higher value.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love the  dishes and decor this time of year brings. I do my share of decorating, but it's the spirit of the season that's most important to me.  Creating a culture of giving thanks is not only what this season is about, but also what life is about.  There's so much to be thankful.

Here are a few things I'm most thankful for:

  1. Family and friends. I have the most amazing and interesting individuals in my life. They're a variety of people who fill my life with laughter, challenge, hope, and even stress.  A little stress in our lives helps us appreciate the good times, right?
  2. Faith.  Bottom line:  This is my life-stabilizer.
  3. Future.  As important as it is to live in the moment, I believe we should plan for tomorrow.  I just met with my financial planner, Robby Shimanek ,and am more secure about my financial future today than I was yesterday.  Michael Hyatt has a great tool called Creating Your Personal Life Plan, a 5-step process to help you get from where you are now to where you want to be.  Everyone should take the time to plan for the future.

What are you thankful for?

"You Have Cancer"

  "I can't believe it". "This is not happening to me". These are the words that were swimming through my head several years ago as my doctor delivered that dreaded phrase! I remember asking the doctor to bring my sister, Cissy, in the room and after sitting there for a few minutes we just agreed that we would face this head on. Full of fear and uncertainty, we began to make decisions and change our plans.

I am not very demonstrative with my emotions, therefore, no tears were shed when my doctor told me I had cancer. As I sat back in my seat, it felt like my blood became cold and was slowly and painfully draining from my body.  I was stunned.  And, I was angry.  My mother had just transitioned to heaven a few years earlier,  my family was still working through the devastation of our loss and now this! The prevailing thought racing through my mind, like a freight train that slipped off the tracks, was the notion that I would miss the opportunity to have children. "I am not going to have kids." Isn't this every girls dream? I was not married and would not have the chance to bear children.  I was overwhelmed and disheartened.

As I write this post, I am met with the same emotion I experienced when I first heard the news. I am, however, still alive and while I will never have the opportunity to 'have' children, I 'have' children.  I call them my God-kids.  My life has been enriched by several individuals that think of me as another mother.

Through my experience I have learned a few things:

  1. You only live once. Life is a gift, a free gift that will cost you everything you have. :)  My challenge to you: Live with audacious tenacity.  Enjoy those around you. Live with passion and purpose. Love without reserve. Forgive as you have been forgiven.
  2. We are not alone. We are designed to exist within the realm of relationship with others.  I found that I had (and still have) a number of friends and family members who were willing to stand with me in prayer, cook meals, sit and talk, or remain quiet or drive me to doctor's appointments if i needed or wanted them to.
  3. Life is not easy.  There is no way to know what one will face in life.  This is why I choose to stay connected to a Source that is much bigger that I.  Being a Christian, I trust God will give me grace to endure the challenges and victories that come my way.  I choose to believe He will take care of me through the storm. Even when it doesn't seem like it (there are times).
  4. Whether I live or die, I win.  This was a tough one for me.  I had to personally work through this reality on my own.  You see, I believe that the life I live, right now, is temporary. Death is a transition from this 'life' to eternity. I will see my mother and others who have passed on.  I will live forever.

If you, or a loved, have been diagnosed with cancer or any other disease, my sincere hope is that you have a community of people to surround you with loving care and commitment, as I have.

 

CW Beauty Tips & Picks

One of the best ways to find the best Beauty Tips is look around and get the Top Picks from women who look their best! To find out how the  CW writers always look their best I asked them to share their personl Top Picks, the things they won't leave home without. It won't surprise you to see how diverse their choices are. Fownder and owner of Created Woman, Heather, says she's been using Oil of Olay Cleanser and Moisturizer since she was thirteen. "I have tried other products but have always switched back to my tried and true. "

 

 

 

                    Covergirl LashExact Mascara is Erika's top pick.

"After trying all the expensive brands of mascara,

this is the one that gives me the most definition, volume and length."

 

 

Jessica says this about  100% Organic Jojoba oil!

It is 100% natural and smells great! I LOVE this stuff because it has so many uses and a little goes a long way. I use it:

  • As a lip balm
  • Added to my face/body lotion (you really only need a few drops)
  • Apply to hair then wash out as a hair mask

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every one knows Carmindy, the encouraging makeup artist from What Not to Wear. Coby's Top Pick is from Sally Hansen's Natural Beauty by Carmindy.

This is the only thing that covers my melasma (hormonal discoloration from pregnancies).The melasma was so bad after my third pregnancy and this ws the only product that covered it and still felt light and natural.

 

 

I don't start or end my day without 3 pumps of

Mary Kay Replenishing Serum + C coupled with Day/Night Solution.  

My skin is tout, it's not too heavy and I started getting carded again.

~Kala~

 

 

~Nichole

Stila Natural Finish Oil-Free Makeup foundation gives me the perfect, natural coverage. It gives me a smooth, even look and lasts all day. 

 

 

Express is a clothing store but they have such a great lip gloss! Their "Black Cherry Lip Gloss" is the perfect color for anyone. It's a pinch of red with a little cherry flavor. I love it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                       MAC Studiotech Foundation

                                                                  The coverage and finish is flawless. - Lilly

It is the only line that makes a foundation with the color I need for my ebony skin.~Cheryl

 

So, if you've been on the search for a better age-fighting product, mascara or foundation, give these Top Picks a try.

The Plus Side of Fashion

Are you one of those who has a penchant for fashion and just can't wait for the reveal of each seasons new craze?  With a simple click of the mouse and a little patience one can scout the latest trends in color, as well as the perfect style to suit their frame. Are you looking to build a seasonal wardrobe with sensational style only to find clothing store and boutique sizes range from 2-8 or 10?  There are some of us who, very simply, are not a size 'small'. All is not lost, because most of our favorite designers have finally come to terms with this notion and now make clothes for those of us with a little extra curve appeal.

Take a look at these beautiful summer-time pieces:

This Rachel Pally tribal print updates an effortlessly chic maxi dress.  It is strategically shaped with an elasticized Empire waist in a soft stretch knit with an unfinished hem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A solid black border outlines this Kenneth Cole sleeveless dress, which is brilliantly cut with a swingy shape and slightly curved handkerchief hem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shimmering sequins illuminate the front of this Michael Kors stretchy, cap-sleeved top with a pretty scooped neckline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A neutral, utilitarian-inspired Kenneth Cole shirtdress is styled with button tabs to roll up the sleeves and finished with a curved shirttail hem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Created Woman knows that top designers understand the Plus Side of Fashion.  She knows where to shop for the best prices and understands how to maximize her assets.

Basil-Cilantro Pesto

It's quick! It's easy! It's healthy and more than anything, it's DELICIOUS! Pesto is a sauce that can be added to pasta, used as a topping on pizza  and today it's featured in Pesto Chicken Salad. Traditional pesto ingredients include basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. We're shaking it up a little and melding the sweet taste of basil with the fragrant mix of  parsley and citrus found in cilantro.

 

 

Ingredients:

1 c. fresh basil

1 c. cilantro (no stems)

1/3 c. walnuts

1 large clove garlic

1/3 c. Romano or Parmesan cheese (Romano is a little stronger)

1/4-1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

pinch of kosher salt

 

 

First of all, run the walnuts through your processor.

 

 

Next, add the basil, cilantro, minced garlic, cheese, salt, and drizzle a little oil in the processor. Pulse and add oil. Repeat until it takes the form of a thick paste.

 

 

Chop 2 c. of chicken (what you see above is the last of a rotisserie chicken) and add some chopped black olives and the pesto. Because I like texture, I added some minced celery as an afterthought. Blanched almonds would also work. They would add texture, taste and visually change the look of the salad.

 

 

 

This Chicken Pesto Salad is whipped up in about 15 min. and served on a toasted baguette or crackers.