So you’re looking kind of oily…

Happy Friday!

Yesterday while sitting at my desk I had a catastrophe involving peanut oil. In an attempt to stir my all-natural peanut butter I got a bit aggressive, which resulted in an explosion of oil all over my outfit. Ick. It was not a good moment.

About an hour after my mishap I headed to a meeting looking quite greasy and stinking of Five Guys. I quietly prayed that I wouldn’t send anyone into anaphylactic shock as I sat there, and hoped that no one would notice the huge spots of oil all over me. However, despite my best efforts to pay attention, I became a bit consumed with myself during that meeting, and wasn’t very impressive.

This whole unfortunate event stood as a reminder that I feel my best when I take care of myself. When I’m eating healthy (lots of fruits, veggies, and water!), exercising (every little bit helps), and putting at least minor thought into what I’m wearing, I am more effective. Sadly, many days I treat myself like a soiled garment, rehashing the bad (you know, the personality quirks, parking tickets, outfits stained with oil :)), rather than taking care of the present. I go to bed without washing off my make-up, I eat the quick foods not the healthy ones, I lazily ignore the wrinkles in my clothes, I refuse to combat the lies about my self-worth. NO MORE.

No matter your past or how many white tee shirts you’ve stained with spaghetti sauce (I think my count is up to 1 billion), I’m asking you join me in taking better care of YOU! And if you need a reason why, here’s a love note from One who thinks you’re worth EVERYTHING:
…you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.Isaiah 46:3b-4

DIY projects that you’ll actually WANT to do

I don’t know about you but sometimes I watch those episodes on HGTV where a couple has gotten themselves into a heap of trouble by trying to rip apart their bathroom BY THEMSELVES and recreate the oasis of their dreams. Half-way through they always seem to need the help of a professional to complete their project, though – duh! I stare at the screen with my head tilted to the right and my eyes wincing…the couple is covered in dust and dirt and surrounded by holed-walls and broken vanities. What in the world possessed them to undertake such a project? Well, each situation is different but something compelled these people to get up and “do it” on their own. I do admire their determination and creativity, though. Sometimes I just feel like doing a project myself because I know EXACTLY what I have in mind and know that no one else is going to finish the project just the way that I envision it. Been there? I came across a few sites this morning that bubble over with creativity and they are DIY projects that are going to be a heck of a lot easier than refinishing your bathroom, I promise. Hold onto your hat (that you knitted yourself, of course) this is going to be good:

1. Want that fabulous black heel you just passed by in the department store but really need it in nude? Thanks to Jeff Silverman you can now create your own shoes…online! Ladies, this is monumental! You pick out your exact color, your exact heel, your exact style – the shoe you always wanted. I know, I know…its almost too much to handle!

2. If you are into one-of-a-kind jewelry then Sheyna is the site for you. Again, you can mix and match ANYTHING here…metals, charms, colors, gems…it is an imaginative dreamland for jewelry lovers. Great gift idea! Also, free shipping on every order – love that.

3. OK, this one is ridiculously cool. With a fab tool from Inmod you now have the ability to design your own pillows and bedding. Totally and utterly outrageous! No more settling for those pillows that match your couch but are so drab – now you can design exactly what you want. Ahh, the age of technology…Oh, these guys offer free shipping, as well.

4. Last and quite possibly the most life changing…custom, made to order swimwear. If you are like me, you DREAD going bathing-suit shopping. I completely loath the idea of shopping for bathing suits because I rarely (if ever) have found a suit that I am totally comfortable in. I am constantly yanking something down or pulling something up. Not anymore, those days are over, never to be seen again. Thank you, Lori Coulter, for creating a business around this ever important purchase for all of us.

So, check out these sites and have a blast creating and designing exactly what’s in that head of yours!

Just GO with it

Ahh, one of my favorite things to do – plop down on the couch with my chocolate covered raisins from Trader Joe’s and watch the What Not To Wear marathon. Sure, I could spend this time better, but really, I look at it as an intense training session from fashion gurus, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly…so really this falls under the category of “work”. 🙂

If you’ve ever seen the show on TLC then you know that the transformation of every single individual is truly remarkable. It’s amazing how new clothes, a stylish haircut and makeup can change the person’s total attitude and outlook about themselves. They carry themselves completely different by the end of the show, such confidence, such pride – in a good way. A few small changes make the world of difference for most of the candidates. The other day I heard Stacy say something that really made sense…but is hard for me to actually do. She was telling a woman that her new outfits shouldn’t really “match”, they should look like they “go” together, though.  Now, for a person who is new to the fashion world that is quite a statement…I’m not supposed to match?? But think about it – the people who catch your eye on the street or in a store probably don’t have on a purple sweater with a purple belt along with matching purple flats. It’s too much of the same thing…and slightly obnoxious! Instead, when picking out your outfit for the day look for colors in your closet that complement one another. Here is a great color chart that can really help guide your daily picks:

The hues that are opposite each other are complimentary towards each other and look really fabulous together. Think of mixing a purple blouse with a lime piece of jewelry…or a navy blazer with a fantastic red belt. Mixing up outfits like this really shows that you are not afraid to work with color and try something new. This week try and change-up one of your “go-to” outfits with a statement piece that really makes your whole look pop.  Also, play with different textures…mix a soft blouse with a structured jacket or place an open vest over a dress and finish the look with a cute belt. Remember, your style is exactly that, YOURS! So put on what you feel looks best on you! We would love to see some pics of your best “goes-together” outfit!

Also, I think  Anthropologie, The LOFT, The Gap and Banana Republic always do a great job of showing different textures and colors in an outfit – you can get great ideas from their sites.  Have fun!

I’ve burned the video in question!

Recently I made a video for a friend that moved outside of the US. I was missing her, and felt it was easier to give her a life update over video rather than sending yet another email. So, because sometimes I get an idea and just NEED TO DO IT NOW, I plopped in front of the webcam fresh out of bed, pajamas, knotty hair and all. To say it was not my best look would be an enormous understatement.

Her response to my sweet video message? “WHO ARE YOU? I love you, but what compelled you to make a video like that? You couldn’t freshen up for five minutes?” I laughed (and am still laughing) because not only is she a true friend who will be brutally honest with me, but because I should have known better…I looked really rough.

Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t say the same thing. In fact, He beckons us to come to Him in all our roughness. He promises to accept us with all our flaws, and, more than that, He assures us that He WILL cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Run to the arms of the One who will accept you NO MATTER WHAT, and be confident that nothing can cause Him to stop loving you. Whether it’s bedhead and morning breath or murder, the love of Jesus is available in spite of your lack of perfection.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,  neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

To V-Day or not to V-Day, that is the question…

Ahh, the infamous day in February is again fast approaching us! The dreaded Valentine’s Day! Every year my husband and I tell each other that we are NOT celebrating this overly commercialized “holiday” and refuse to buy each other expensive gifts, flowers, chocolates, etc. We repeat our mantra that we will NOT make a big deal out of this day…and no fancy dinners are on the agenda! Yet every year, right around this time I start searching the web frantically for unique gift ideas and look for a cute outfit to wear on the day that is all red and pink. I begin calling restaurants to see if they have any availability on the 14th, “I’m sorry, our reservations are full” is the most common reply I receive. I sigh as I try to rack my brain to come up with an amazing V-Day idea. WHY?? Well, its our culture, it’s what we know. Valentine’s Day has been engrained in our memories as a day of hearts and love.  Of course we do not need one day out of the year to tell each other how wonderful the other is or how in love we are with them but there is something that draws us to that heart-shaped box of chocolates and – we give in to the madness! Well, I guess it’s not the worst thing that could happen…telling your significant other that they mean the world to you – we just seem to have to add the triple-priced flowers with it…just blame Hallmark’s marketing department for this pressure! They do a great job, though!

Well, you can still have fun on V-Day and make it a light-hearted day – not one filled with stress from thinking about how much you overpaid for that necklace. if you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your honey but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg here are some great ideas on how to deliver big on V-Day. Also, Banana Republic has some beautiful blouses that will fit in to your “holiday” ensemble perfectly. Just remember, this day is really about showing love…not about how much money you have to spend to show it. Have fun!

One of the most beautifully written pieces about love

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.”

xoxo…I couldn’t resist! 🙂

Clutter-free closet…and life

Once again, I have uttered the infamous words as I gaze into my closet, “I have nothing to wear!” When the fact is, I have about 1000 outfits lurking in the shadows. But is was a tough week of work and my closet suffered because of it. My  clean laundry was piled so high it became an overwhelming task to me and I decided to shove my clothes into their home instead of neatly folding them and putting them away. By doing this, I actually created more work for myself! Now I have to yank and pull on clothes to see what they are and what they’re covering, fold them AGAIN and put them back and iron the shirt of my choice because it is totally wrinkled because of my laziness…ughhh.

I think my closet could be a metaphor for my life, too. It’s so easy for my brain to get cluttered with things that don’t even matter and sometimes its hard to remember all the good, wonderful things in my life because I have a bunch of “wrinkled” shirts stuffed in front of them – I could label them “ungratefulness” and “discontentment”. When I am feeling overloaded with stuff and can’t seem to focus on all the good in my life I try to practice some simple rules. Right while I am in that moment of frustration I take a deep breath, close my eyes and think about my family, my warm home, my friends, my job, etc – all the blessings in my life.  I do not need more in my life – I just need to be content with what I do have. Almost immediately, that sense of focus is restored and I am reminded to try to keep those amazing gifts at the front of my closet – so I can see them everyday!

The Apostle Paul summed it up pretty well when he said, “I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”

ok,  so for the clutter free closet check out this article that give 10 tips for closet organization! Also, if you have a little extra cash this month plan to visit The Container Store…talk about organization! They have drawers, containers, baskets and shelves for just about anything…its worth it to just go and look around! Ta ta for now!

exposing my crazy

It’s cold,  I’ve been stuck in the house for 2 days, I have several looming deadlines…

Okay,  now that I’m done complaining it’s time for a few confessions:

-Earlier this week I told myself I’d only eat dessert 2x every seven days. Apparently what I meant by that was that I’d shove delicious confectionary delights in my mouth NON-STOP for 2 days straight. I think I’m missing the point of this exercise in self-control.

-My toenails are ALWAYS painted. However, for the last week I’ve let me ‘go nude’ because I thought they needed to breathe. I thought that my TOENAILS needed to breathe. Feel free to start judging.

-Almost every single morning I set my alarm to work out BEFORE work, and yet 99% of the time I end up oversleeping and working out AFTER work.  Some say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. If that’s true, I’m INSANE.

-I am completely creeped out by those one-piece cut out bathing suits. I’m sure the tan lines they create are way weirder than my breathing toenails.