party

Own It

It was at my last New Year's Eve party that it happened. I'd spent all day cooking food and cleaning and planning so that I could have my friends over. As people started trickling in, I noticed that one of my closest friends seemed a little grumpy. So I stepped up my game and tried to make sure she had a good time. Towards the end of the night, our conversation took a quick turn into Sassy City. And in front of everyone, she snapped at me...Cue the awkward silence. I had no idea how to react. So my simple reply was, "Ok", as I angrily walked out of the room. After that, I didn't mention it for months. Even when she text me an apology right after she'd left. Big mistake.

You see, I thought that not saying anything about it and "letting it go" was the proper thing to do. I thought, "Well, I shouldn't get this mad about things." And I didn't want  to make the situation worse by bringing it up again. But, inevitably, my frustration came out in a big way months later. Not only did it come out, but it came out stronger than it should have because by that point, I'd held it in pretty long.

What I'm learning is that sometimes, it doesn't matter whether you should or shouldn't feel a certain way. What matters is that you feel it! Yes, ideally, we'd always be patient, forgiving, understanding, and all that jazz. But, we're human. And sometimes,  you just can't force yourself to feel those things. So, try to recognize when it's beneficial to speak up and own your feelings a bit more.

Now all you sassy ladies, don't go to the opposite extreme either. This does not mean you should give every emotion you feel free rein. Don't just confront people whenever and however you feel like, because that really doesn't accomplish much either.

Communication truly is an art form and it's tricky to learn. But your relationships deserve your honesty. Proverbs 24:26 says, "An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips." So the next time you feel yourself stifling your feelings of hurt or frustration, just try and address them in some way before they consume you. Because the only thing worse than an uncomfortable conversation with someone about how you feel is unresolved tension that eats away at your relationship!

Mood Lighting

Recently we were going to have a rather large get together in our home and I was a bit worried about how some of the guests would get along. Since the event was at our home I felt a little bold and resolved that since it was at my home it was up to me to set the mood. I was determined that as much as it was up to me I would include everyone. I wanted a spirit of unity among all of these beautiful people that I love so much. Thankfully that is how the night went. Something shifted in my thinking after that. The lighting of a room can set the mood, but the light in the room can shift the atmosphere. Two scriptures come to mind for me

Romans 8

12Jesus once again addressed them: "I am the world's Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in."

Eph 6

12For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

None of us has the ability to control another person but we do have the choice of what we will agree with. I want what I bring into every situation to be in agreement with what God is wanting me to do. Without a doubt His heart for me is to show His love, His compassion, His grace and mercy. When I bring that atmosphere with me into any situation it can only brighten things up.

This new way of thinking has allowed me to really take notice of whats going on around me. If the mood is yuck I want to shine the opposite in the room. Bringing hope to the hopeless, comfort to the hurting, peace to the weary. The last thing I want to do is go into a room full of worry and agree with it. No I acknowledge it's there and consciously choose not to agree with it but ask God what He wants shining in the middle of it.  I only want to partner with what He is wanting to do not add to any negative mood that's there.

 

Do you find yourself taking on negative attitudes easily?

Consider asking God about those ideas before adopting them as your own.

 

God,

Thank you for your wisdom in this area.

Amen

 

 

A Date for the Busy Couple

Is it even possible to have a normal date (as you once did) and a candle lit dinner amidst every thing the world is bringing you.  Maybe you're new social life consists of party after party for those under the age of 10 and, to be honest, you're too tired to even think about a date.  How does today’s busy couple stay connected and still feel that they have time for each other? What I've learned as I work with busy women to create a Personalized Fitness Plan, is that most women are overwhelmed with life.  How in the world do you make time for exercise, much less have quality time with your husband?

For my marriage, we have to sometimes get creative and think outside of the normal dates we once had when our life was simpler.  Yet I still feel connected since we've made it a priority to find ways to spend time together.

A date for this busy couple may look something like this.

  • A walk or run

When my husband and I need to catch up or discuss certain things going on in life, we love putting on our shoes and going for a run or walk.  We tell the kids to grab their scooter or bike and head outside with the family.  While they are busy seeing who is the fastest, we are getting connected and spending quality time together.  We've also from time to time made a commitment to work out or train for a local race together.

  • Have Lunch

We don't always have time for a long dinner nor can we always make arrangements for a babysitter, so we schedule lunch.  The key words for a busy couple are “schedule it".  It's more likely to happen if you set a specific date and time and put it on the calendar that just having good intentions to make it happen.

  • Friend exchange

Some times we just need to have one hour for dinner.  We're fortunate to have best friends who need the same.  Babysitters can be expensive and not many want to waste one hour….which may be all they get.  Find a couple who's willing to keep your kids for an hour or two for a date night and be sure to find a time to offer the same to them.

The key is thinking outside the box.  You can still have romance and quality time.  It just may not be the way you once did.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Coats, Boots & Sparkle! A Coat-aholics Favorite Addictions

Last year, I painfully admitted I was a coat-aholic.  This year, I must admit that therapy didn’t work and my addiction is worse than ever!  As my closet expands with coats, cardigan, long knits, crop, and you name it, outerwear seems to take up most of the real estate.   As I plan my outfit every day, I begin with which coat I'll wear and then build my outfit from there.  Often times, after the coat of choice is chosen along with the normal jean, my go-to boots always fall into place.  If you know me at all, you know that fall is my favorite time of year. So without further ado, here are my favorite fall pieces – coats, boots and sparkle!  

Being the classic girl that I am, my #1 favorite coat is the trench coat.  Although I have several novelty trenches in several different colors, my ultimate dream trench coat is the classic Burberry Trench that's been a staple for over 100 years!  So, if any of you are wondering what Christmas gift to buy me...

 

These coats have been paired with two of the hottest trends this season; the Mad Men's 50's cut with the tangerine color.  This hot, summer-esqu color is not going away anytime soon and itt's just been named the 2012 color of the year by Pantone, Tangerine Tango.

 

The poncho trend also popped up this summer and is still going strong.  Fun & elegant all in one!

The maxi coat is another one of my favorites. If I lived in a land that had a real winter, I would live in this coat!  This floor length style transitioned from summer skirts to winter coats seamlessly.

Ankle boots continue to be fashion staples, but I must admit they took a while to grow on me.  Now, however, I'm searching feverishly for the perfect ankle boot to add to my closet!  This red suede is perfect for the holidays and adds the perfect pop of color to our fall wardrobe.

Lace-ups, lace-ups, lace-ups!  This style was all over the runway and can be worn in knee high, calf, or ankle boots.  It's a touch of edgy that every girl needs.

Suede made the top fashion trend for fall 2011 in everything from boots to purses. For 2012, this fabric is still going strong!  As with any trend, everything comes back around in about 10 years so investing in some great suede boots will bring you pleasure this year and in years to come.

The riding boot has always been popular with the equestrian crowd, but the fashionistas have taken them to the main stream.  These boots were my go-to everyday while I was pregnant. I have to admit that the practical yet stylish boots have become one of my all-time favorites!

Finally, the holiday season wouldn't be complete without a little sparkle!  Adding shimmer to the eyes and playing up eyelashes with extensions make you stand out in the crowd at holiday parties.  For those that tend to shun the sparkle, be a little daring during the holidays. I promise you wont' regret it!

An easy way to add sparkle is to put on a great polish to your normally buffed nails.  I know what your thinking, 'nail polish doesn't stay on.'  True, but for a great party and all those pictures you'll be taking Christmas morning, it's worth having a little sparkle that's easy to take off when necessary.

So, to all my fellow coat-aholics, boot lovers and sparklers, enjoy the fall season wearing all your favorite addictions! And share with us your deepest, darkest fashion dependencies!

One of my favorite coats in my closet!

This spectacular coat was found in Dallas at a designer consignment shop and a good friend told my husband how much I loved it!  Christmas 2009 was a good year!  I love the bustle on the back and the mandarin collar.  When people ask me what kind of coat it is, I feel like I'm on the red carpet as I reply, "Vintage Chloe".  Yummy!

He Shows us a Way Out

"There's no way I could have avoided that on my own! I must have an angel/angels around me." How many times have we looked back on a situation and realized, God really does send angels to come and encamp about us?"The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful.He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT

As someone who once struggled with bulemia regularly, the holidays can be especially difficult. It seems there's always a party to go to with a banquet of food to binge on, feel guilty about, and then purge. But the scripture promises, the Lord will always show you a way out of the situation. Not so you maybe, or might endure....so you CAN endure.

At my last holiday soiree, I was mingling before I spotted the table of goodies. I ate a piece of fudge and began feeling like that one piece of decadence could be enough to send me over the edge into a "binge and purge" mode.

That was until a woman came up to me and struck up a conversation. She too was a guest at the party, and began chatting with me.

Little to her surprise, but not Gods, she distracted me. In the midst of our small talk, we wound up moving away from the table and over to a nearby couch....far enough from the table that I was no longer tempted to go on a binge. We finished our conversation, enjoyed a few more minutes of the party, and I left.... WITHOUT falling into the enemies trap! I knew at that moment, the Lord had sent his angels to protect me. He stayed faithful to his word and showed me a way out.

Heavenly father, You ARE faithful. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for your grace and mercy when I can't seem to find that strength. Keep me and protect me, and always show me the "way out", so I CAN endure.

Psalm 91:11 The Message "He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go."

Matthew 4:11 The Message Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.

 

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.

Celebrating the Holidays in Style! Fashion & Fun

This time of year is filled with buzz about what to eat, what party to go to, where to shop and, of course, WHAT TO WEAR!  For me, the holiday season is just an excuse to dress up and feel 'fancy' in my otherwise normal everyday life of work, wife and mommy-hood.  Why shouldn't a girl feel like she's walking down the red carpet, even if it is just up a side-walk that leads to our neighbors' beautifully Christmas decorated house.  We can all pretend cameras are flashing all around as we strike a pose and show off our new dress or the new accessories we bought to make an old outfit look brand new.  It's Holiday Fashion Fun at it's best! As we search our stores or our closets for the best look for each and every holiday event we must attend, or actually want to attend, here are a few tips to make sure you celebrate the Holidays in Style!

 

 The LBD is always a safe and glamorous way to step out for any occasion.  I must admit, it's always my go-to choice.  Here, Jennifer Aniston wears a tank cocktail dress that, yes, can be worn during the holidays. No need to worry about the weather! Just grab a great coat or wrap and take it off once the party is underway.

 Of course, a little more glam always gets extra attention!  Gold or silver sparkle helps you stand out amongst the sea of LBD's while remaining festive, just like Eva Longoria.

Lace is the fall trend and it's showing up from everyday wear to cocktail &  formal dresses.  No matter what the occasion, try lace to add that feminine touch.  If a lace dress is a little over the top for you, try a lace top paired with pants and coat or stole or any kind of wrap.

Tomato Red is the new red for the season.  It's the color of Christmas, but its deeper hue adds a touch more sophistication and brings the fun out of all of us!

The Fur Vest made its debut a couple of years ago and it's still going strong.  The great thing about a Faux Fur Vest is that it can dress up a casual party outfit or make a splash as the accessory that ties the sparkle together.  Try a long or short one this holiday season to add an extra bling to your wardrobe.

Be sure you don't overpower you perfect holiday dress with too much bling on the ears.  Let your dress continue to do the talking while your earrings compliment.

Of course, there are those special informal parties we attend almost on a weekly basis during the holiday season.  The best way to look holiday appropriate for these small get-togethers, whether it's at home or office, is to add a tweed cardigan to jeans or pants. Then,  top it off with an accessory in a  seasonal color like red.  You'll stay party and holiday appropriate!

We all know that keeping up with our mani/pedis during the summer is a must.  But even though our toesies may be hidden under warm boots, our hands are still open for all the world to see!  Keeping up our manis (and our pedis too, for those open-toe party shoes) is still important during the cool winter months.

Instead of the normal glitzy sparkle necklaces, pair a pop of color with your dress.  It's definitely a fun way to add sparkle during the holiday season.

Stella & Dot, my favorite new jewelry line, has made a splash in the past few years with appearances ranging from "Live with Regis & Kelly" to this summer's hit movie "Bridesmaids".  Check out their holiday line, along with other spectacular affordable pieces for your everyday wardrobe, and find a Stella & Dot party near you!  It's worth it!

With all the fuss about what to wear, it's the hair that adds the finishing touch. Don't let it be an afterthought. Either a sleek, sophisticated pull-back  or a whimsical ponytail will allow your dress to shine instead of hiding behind a floppy mess!

Hair accessories are another great way to accessorize your party fashion while being a conversation piece.  Fun, flirty and fabulous!

For great holiday hair tips, email CW's hairstylist, Coby, or visit her website to get your hair looking fabulous for all your parties!

Of course, we would all love to pair our well thought out cocktail dress with the perfect Jimmy Choo shoes.  But for those of us that live in the real world, we can get a little taste of the fancy life by spritzing on a little Jimmy Choo perfume for only $150.  What girl shouldn't have Jimy Choo?!

Express Dress

If you're in the mood to shop for a new holiday dress but have blown the budget on Christmas gifts, stay fashionable and thrifty. Stores like Express and Banana Republic carry great holiday cocktail dresses and shoes.  Your friends will think you spent a fortune!

Express Shoe

Banana Holiday Perfect Party Outfits

Banana Republic 'Red Hot Purse' is the perfect accessory!

Makeup for Holidays

Makeup is always my favorite finishing touch!  Red lips, paired with more natural eyes, make a statement and are the lips that everyone wants to kiss under the mistletoe!

For a more natural holiday look, check out Victoria Secrets Holiday Makeup Collection to look and feel like an angel!

 

Have a blast celebrating the holidays in style, being the Created Woman you were made to be, both inside and out.  That's what it's all about after all!  Created Women are Fashionable, Fun & Fabulous!

Merry Christmas!!

Share your fun & fabulous Holiday Style tips with us!  Get us in the know!

The Busy Woman's Guide to Healthy Entertaining

By nature, I am definitely a Martha and not a Mary.  In this familiar Bible story, we learn that Martha stayed busy cooking and cleaning to ensure everything was perfect while hosting Jesus in their home.  She became angry with Mary who did not help her and chose to sit with Him and enjoyed his company.    (Luke 10:38-41) If not careful, I can pack so much into one day and stress myself to make everything perfect, especially when it comes to entertaining. There was a time, when I like Martha, would stay in the kitchen preparing everything while my family and guests enjoyed the company of each other.   Stress would sometimes get the best of me as I pondered over having the most delicious menu and providing options for our health conscious guests. I soon realized I had to find a way to enjoy entertaining, which I love to do, and make it work with everything else going on in my life.

When desiring to host a party, I sometimes see two things that can happen to busy women

  • Stress out which can lead to over eating
  • Give up because it feels impossible.

 When you have so many things going on in your life, hosting a party can feel impossible.  I remember early in my marriage when my husband and I wanted to have a party, I thought I had to provide everything and my menu had to be something new and creative every time.  I soon realized that most people want to bring something, even if it is something minor.  Asking for assistance with the minor details allowed me to take things off of my “to do” list.  I also learned that I have a few staple recipes that my friends and family love and look forward to having. There is no need to invent the wheel for every event.

To simply host a party stress free the healthy way, put in a few simple steps.

  • Discover a new technique to manage your stress.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is no secret that some women tend to overeat or eat things they normally wouldn’t when faced with stressful situations.  Establishing a daily quiet time or exercise routine, is one way to find balance and control and not allow food to be your outlet.  Even if you can’t exercise as much as you normally do during the holiday season, don’t give up completely.  Set yourself a new schedule so that you are able to maintain some kind of sanity.  For example, if you normally exercise 30 minutes a day, change it to at least get in 15 minutes instead of giving up all together.

 

  • Keep your menus simple and semi home made.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 For example, take a ready made salsa and add to it. One of my favorite’s is Walmart’s Peach Pineapple Chipotle salsa, www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Value-Peach-Pineapple-Salsa-26-oz/10324682.   I love to add a can of black beans and corn and serve with Triscuit Thin Crisps for healthier options, www.nabiscoworld.com/Brands/ProductInformation.aspx?BrandKey=ritz&Site=&Product=4400000539. It makes a large quantity and guests love it.  For a quick semi homemade desert, take a store bought brownie mix and make your own icing.  To make it even more delectable, add your favorite       chocolate                    candies into the mix.  Do you have left over Halloween candy?  Freeze them and pull them out when you are ready to bake.  Be sure to have to go boxes ready for your guests so that they are out of your house along with the temptation to over indulge.

 

  •  Stick to familiar recipes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have two or three “signature” recipes that I know will be a crowd pleaser.  I can prepare them with little thought and my guests always look forward to having them. Mindless eating and sampling while cooking quickly add up to unnecessary calories. By sticking to your “staple recipes”, there is no need to sample.

As healthy busy women, we do not have to give up entertaining. With a few simple steps, we can be the “hostess with the mostess” and relax like Mary and enjoy our company.

 

Simple Chocolate Icing

Melt 3TBS of cocoa or 3 squares of Hershey chocolate (left over Halloween candy)  and 1 TBS of butter.  Stir in 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar, a dash of salt ½ tsp of vanilla and 2 TBS of milk.  Mix with Blender and spread on cool brownies.