Sunday, January 21, 2018

Weekend Inspiration for the Week Ahead

Being Yourself

Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. 
Romans 12:9-10 (The Message)

When you look in the mirror what do you see?  Do you see a beautiful, intelligent woman with her own unique personality who is beloved of God?  Or, do you see a face with wrinkles, lack of confidence and everything that you think is wrong with you? Perhaps, it varies from day to day, what you see in the mirror? One day you are confident in your abilities and how you see yourself in the mirror and the next you're not? You are not alone, you know. I think most women vary in what they see in the mirror from time to time.

Today, when you look in the mirror, I want you to do two things. The first thing I want you to do is to notice at least one thing you see that you really, really like about yourself. Say out loud to yourself what that is. You might notice the beautiful color of your eyes, or the shape of your lips or your hair or cheekbones. You get the idea. Tell yourself what you see in the mirror that you like. Appreciate the fact that your face was uniquely created by God as the face He wanted you to have in this life. There is no one else in the world like you. You are beautiful in the eyes of God. 

The second thing I want you to do is to repeat the scripture verse from Romans 12:9-10 three times to yourself as you look in the mirror. Say it slowly and really think about it as you say it each time. Not only did God create your face uniquely, but also your personality uniquely. There is no one else in this whole world who has your unique personality. Sure, there are others with similar talents, perhaps, or similar personalities. But none exactly like yours. You are uniquely you....the woman God created and loves. Now, think of at least one thing about your personality that you really like. Tell yourself what this one thing is. Really allow this to sink in to your thinking. 

Take these positive thoughts with you as you go throughout your day. Love others and yourself from the center of who you are in this day. You don't have to fake it, trying to look like someone else, or acting like someone else. You are enough just as you are. You were uniquely created by God, both inside and out, and you are a beloved child of God. 

Now, I ask you again.....what do you see when you look in the mirror?

Blessings in the week ahead,

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Easy DIY Heart Wreath

Crafting A DIY Heart Wreath

Valentine's Day is less than one month away. And if you're looking for an easy peasy heart craft to do, today's post is for you! It doesn't get much easier than using an old clothes hanger, foam hearts, glue and red ribbon for a do it yourself Valentine's decoration!

I began by bending an old clothes hanger into a circle shape leaving the curved hook intact at the top. I had hoped to bend the hanger into a heart shape, but couldn't do it so went for a circle shape instead. I then wound some old wide red ribbon around the hanger, tied it off at the hook and began gluing foam hearts all around the ribbon. You can see the foam hearts are shades of pink and lavender and vary in size. 

I finished the craft by pinching the hook together to form a circle for hanging and then used the last of the red ribbon to tie a pretty bow at the top. And that's it! See, I told you it was an easy peasy craft! Are you doing any crafts for Valentine's Day? I look forward to hearing from you! And, don't forget to pin this craft so you can refer to it again later! 

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Playing With Tablescapes on A Snowy Day

Tablescapes for Winter

A red plaid scarf with faux lantern on the kitchen table.

Seeing as how we have yet another snowstorm in our area today, I decided to play with creating some tablescapes on our kitchen table. Boredom can bring out my creativity, it seems. 

Folded red plaid scarf with lantern.

I decided to try folding this red plaid throw different ways to see what looked better on our round wooden table. 

The "old fashioned" oil lamp actually runs on batteries. The flame is a piece of plastic that flickers like an actual flame. We found this lamp at Ace Hardware and I really like it on our table. It's great for when the power goes off!

I decided to switch to a more winter-like theme on the table. This is certainly befitting the outdoor white stuff we got today!

White lace scarf, white flowers, candles and clear snowflakes

I filled a clear glass square vase with white foam balls (i.e. snowballs) and added white flowers. Clear, icy plastic snowflakes are propped up against the vase and the little glass light holders. Again, the lights are small flame free candles. 

Alternative uses for scarves.

You may recall seeing this lacy scarf when I wore it last winter for a post about wearing a white dress in winter. That post remains one of my favorite style posts that I have done, by the way. I scattered a few clear snowflakes on the lace scarf for good measure.

The truth about creating tablescapes on our kitchen table, however, is that our table is the repository for everything we bring into the house. So, when I create a beautiful arrangement, it typically ends up surrounded by coats on the chairs, my husband's wallet, keys and phone and, yes, my purse. The truth hurts....our house is a home and not a museum. 

Plastic snowflakes, flowers, snowglobes and flameless candles.

So, I moved most of the tablescape items, sans the scarves and oil lamp, to the side table in our living room. Mixed in with the polar bear snow globe, a larger flameless candle and the leftover flowers from my blossoms of joy post, they look pretty next to the snowy scene out our front window. 

And, here, my playtime ends as I decide this is where the tablescape will stay. Here, it will be undisturbed by the other debris of our lives, and can offer pleasure and a little respite from the snowy outside world as I gaze at its beauty.

Which of my tablescapes did you like best?  And, tell me, do you ever play with tablescapes?  Please take a moment to respond. Your comments make me happy!

Did you remember to sign up to receive my posts through email or bloglovin' so you never miss a post? Just look for the sign ups at the top of my sidebar. 

Until Next Time,

Monday, January 15, 2018

How Blogs Influence You and Learning To Be Yourself

Influencer...or Not?

Wearing my new all weather coat purchased at Stein Mart.

Do you ever feel like you are influenced by bloggers to buy things? Even when you really hadn't really thought of purchasing a particular product or item until you see someone else with it on a blog? And you think, "hmm... maybe I would look good wearing that." Blogger influence is my topic today and a case in point of how I have been influenced is the coat you see me wearing in today's post. Luckily, even though I was influenced....I think I ended up buying what I truly needed.

Wearing a stylish all weather waterproof coat.

The past couple of months, I've been noticing some bloggers I follow modeling what I call "classic" coats. These are dressier coats that you would wear with nice slacks or a dress. I have several cold weather coats to choose from, but it's been several years since I have purchased a "dress" type coat. By several years I mean...oh....probably 20? 

A fun musical scarf worn with a stylish all weather coat.

I had thought a few times over the last couple years of getting a dressier coat, but deemed it not really necessary. I had a dressier coat in the downstairs closet. I just never got it out to wear. It kind of slipped my mind until a couple things reminded me. During one of my closet clean outs this past year, I took out my "old" dressy coat and discovered it had become mildewed from hanging in an unheated closet. I decided it was past saving and chucked it out. And then, I started seeing these really nice coats on the bloggers and...well....I was influenced. Guess that's why many of these bloggers are called "influencers!"

I kind of half heartedly would check for dress coats in some stores I frequent, but didn't see what I was looking for. Until last week, when I was running errands and found myself close to Stein Mart. I figured they would have dress coats. And they did. And, even better, they were 30% off. Yes! 

But, this is when things got a bit tricky for me.  The "classic" coat I tried on was beautiful, but the style fit really tightly against me and showed off every unflattering curve. I tried it on again and again, trying to convince myself it was for me. I almost talked myself into it, but finally,  I left the store and came home. There, I proceeded to look up the coat online, reading reviews about it and, again, trying to convince myself it was for me. After all, the bloggers were wearing this style. I was under the spell of being "mega-influenced!"

An all weather coat with both zippers and buttons for extra warmth.

I actually made up my mind to return to the store that afternoon and buy that "classic" coat. I convinced myself that I had only imagined that it hugged my curves unflatteringly. After all, I have a very vivid imagination! So back I went, where I proceeded to put the coat on....and off....and on....and off....over and over. Finally, I gave up, disgustedly hanging the coat on the rack for the final time. And that's when I turned and saw the coat I'm wearing in these pictures. I took it off the hanger to try on thinking, "but this is not a "classic" coat like the bloggers were wearing."  Maybe not...but, it was the perfect coat for me. The first thing I noticed was how it was hanging perfectly on my body, not hugging me in an unflattering way. It is basically an "all weather" type coat which both zips and then buttons and has a removable liner, making it perfect for year round use!  I remember owning such a coat years ago and I loved it! Although not a "classic" coat, it is still dressy enough to wear with nice slacks and dresses when occasions call for such a coat. I can tell you that so far, I have worn it in downpours of rain and very cold weather and it is a winner! And that trumps being "classic" in my opinion! 

So here's the moral of this story. I need to be careful about being too influenced by things I see on the blogs. I need to really consider, first of all, whether I need something or not and, secondly, I need to choose things that fit me and my body and not someone else's body. One reason I try to encourage folks to "shop their closets" is that I know I have made some splurge choices in fashion just because of blogger influence. Some of those fashions have worked for me, but some have not. I'm trying to be much more particular about what I buy these days, making certain that it truly "fits me" and not someone else. And, sometimes, if I just shop my own closet, I realize that I truly have all the style I need at this time. Other times, as with this coat, I find that I need to let go of pre-conceived ideas of what is in fashion and just shop for what fits Debbie. 

How about you?  Do you ever try to "convince" yourself to buy something that doesn't really fit your style?  And what do you think? Am I an influencer?

Until Next Time,

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Weekend Inspiration: Blossoms of Joy

Blossoms of Joy in January

"Wilderness and desert will sing joyously,
the badlands will celebrate and flower--
Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom,
a symphony of song and color. 
Mountain glories of Lebanon--a gift,
Awesome Carmel, stunning Sharon--gifts.
God's resplendent glory, fully on display,
God awesome, God majestic.  
(Isaiah 35:1-2 The Message)

The days of January drag on for me.  Filled with cold, wind, ice and snow, I long for warmer days, sunshine and soft breezes.  I always get a little down in these winter months and the dreariness of recent days has not helped. On a recent trip to the store, I saw some lovely blooms and they called to me to take them home and arrange them in a pretty vase. The blossoms cheer me and give me hope that winter is not forever. Like the winters of our lives, the days of frigid snow and icy blasts will pass. Sunshine and warmth will come again. The dry deserts will burst forth and flower. I realize in my wilderness journey of winter....of life.....that there can be no spring without winter, no blossoming without sunshine without clouds. There is joy to be found, even in the dark times, if I but look for it. Blossoms in January remind me of that. 


Linking With:

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A New Magical Cats Book Review

A Tale of Two Kitties

Looking for a good book to read? I've got a great recommendation for you today! Sofie Kelly's latest book in her Magical Cat Series is a great way to spend some reading hours!

I tried really hard to convince myself to wait until,  "A Tale of Two Kitties," comes out in paperback. But, I just couldn't wait and so "Santa" gave it to me for Christmas. The usual cast of characters are in this book, the usual mysterious death occurs, which Kathleen and her cute detective boyfriend, Marcus, work together to solve, and you also learn more about the history of how those two magical felines, who walk through doors and disappear at will, Owen and Hercules, came to live with Kathleen. To be honest, I'm still reading the book but enjoying it so much I wanted to go ahead and share it with you!

Sophie Kelly's Magical Cat Series is the right mix of mystery, interesting characters that reappear in each book and "gentle" romance (i.e. no gratuitous bedroom scenes) that I enjoy. I was a little surprised at the hardback edition. I'm fairly sure that her other books have always printed first in paperback. I don't recall seeing them in hardback before, at least. How cute is this hot pad that one of my sisters gave me as part of a "tea theme" Christmas present?! The C.S. Lewis quote sums up exactly how I feel about tea and reading!

And, look at the material on this darling tote bag that my friend, Sharon, made for me!  Books and cats....she knows me well!  I just love it.  Now, you are reading Sharon's blog right??? (I know you are!)

What are you reading right now? Have you read any of the Magical Cat Series yet?  Hope you'll take a moment to share!

Until Next Time,

Linking With:

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Weekend Inspiration: A Scripture for 2018

Contentment In Your Place

"Where you are right now is God's place for you."
I Corinthians 7:17 (The Message)

First of all, I realize I'm late with my weekend devotional. I try to get it posted by Saturday evening at the latest. But sometimes time gets away from me and/or inspiration doesn't come. So, better late than never! I have decided to give a different name to my devotionals in 2018. This year they will be called, "Weekend Inspiration" and may appear on either Saturday or Sunday. I have so appreciated all of you who have read and commented on the Saturday Scripture posts this past year and I hope you will continue to read and post in the upcoming year!

Those of you who follow me regularly already know that I choose one (or more) words to focus on throughout the year. This year I'm surprised to have chosen four words and they are thankful, music, commitment and risk. I have never thought, however, of choosing a particular scripture to focus on throughout the year....until this year. I was having my daily devotional about a month or so ago and read I Corinthians 7:17. It really spoke to my heart and I found myself meditating on this scripture and returning to it again and again. I truly feel that the Lord is speaking to me at this time of my life with this scripture. So, I have chosen it as a focus scripture for 2018. All scripture has something to teach us. Sometimes, however, a particular scripture stands out and speaks to us at a particular time. This scripture is calling to me and I am prayerfully asking God to help me to fully understand its meaning for my life. Perhaps you would like to consider choosing a "focus scripture" for 2018. If you do, I would love for you to share! Blessings in the week ahead!