Fashion Fridays: A Fairy Tale Christmas List

Alrighty, I have asked for a new front door for Christmas.  Because, well, I’ve wanted a new front door for almost nine years.

That means NO other presents as a new front door is sort of an extravagant Christmas gift for our family budget.

However, if there were no front door, these items would be on my Christmas list.  From big to small, you might spot something to pick up with your Christmas gift cards.

I’m sort of obsessed with finding boots now that I’ve helped my friend Christine, and while these red Western pair aren’t on the short list for a new chocolate brown knee boot set, I still find them fabulous and I love everything Frye makes these days.

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My girlfriend just started selling Chloe + Isabel – have you all seen their stuff?  It’s probably not for the super understated jewelry lover, but since I love statement pieces I want everything I see!  This gorgeous snake choker is on sale for $77 and would go with everything.

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I may have mentioned that I sort of LOVE blouses.  And this gorgeous Kate Spade ruffled blouse is practically perfect in every way.

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(And not to be overly partial to Kate Spade, which I totally am, don’t you love these polka dot notecards?? Even though they aren’t fashion!)

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I seriously need to upgrade my make up brushes and these Sonia Kashuk brushes from Target are a great way to go – top of my list is the multi purpose brush (for $18) and this travel blush brush (for $10).

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I did a favorite night cream poll on Facebook and on my short list is some Obagi Night Cream.

By way of back story, I had a baby rip out my pierced earrings (clean through my ear lobes) when I was in college, and I have worn clip earrings ever since.  It’s nearly impossible to find cool clip earrings that are simple or that dangle.  I like these linear clip earrings from Chico’s for less than $30.

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Wrapping up, this whole look is super chic and I have the ankle pants and heels, but I’d love to pick up this Snow Leopard Coat from Ann Taylor Loft (currently 40% off)  as a perfect topper for work outfit in any season.

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C’mon, your turn – what’s on your Christmas fashion wish list?

(And it may be pretty quiet around here for a few weeks. I’ll post when I can, but I’m going on “vacation” and may not check in much.  So Merry Christmas friends!)

Meaning in the Mayhem, Vlog Part 4

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Can you believe Christmas is in ONE week?  What?

My kids are officially out of school and yesterday was the Christmas party.  I offered to help and ended up planning it (um, I need to focus more on my best yes, right?).  But it was SO much fun.  I love kids Christmas parties.  Well, I love parties period but it is so much fun to watch Christmas with children.  They listened to The Night Before Christmas and made Christmas ornaments and had treats and gave and received gifts.  What fun!

So today’s little video blogging exercise took place by the trunk of my car as I prepared to unload for the party.  I heard Shauna Niequist say this about hospitality: They should leave feeling better about themselves than they do about you.  So that’s what I kept at the front of my mind when the prideful part of myself began to worry about what the other moms would think about my store bought cupcakes or my crumpled work clothes or my bizarre pretzel trees.  All I could think was, I want the kids to feel better about themselves when they leave this party.  And who cares if they even remember me.

We’re nearing the finish line friends, I hope you’re  actively seeking in this busy last week to find meaning in the mayhem:

 

The Best Yest Study: Yes to Presence

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Friends, bear with me.  I feel like I’m sliding in here at the end.  I’m a little behind what with all this Christmas wonder :)

Today we’re on Chapters 14 and 15 of The Best Yes study, and we’re moving from how to say no to how to know when to say YES!  Wahoo – the yeses!

This wisdom laid the foundation for the insight to come: “We want big directional signs from God.  God wants us to pay attention.”  (p. 170)

It’s true, right?  We often seek out some big clear signal that the right yes is staring us in the face when often the answer is more subtle, but the answer can be just as clear if we’re centered and willing to pick out the indications along the way.

Lysa quotes the optimistic and insightful Bob Goff from Love Does, “The brand of love Jesus offers is more about presence than undertaking a project.” (p. 172)

What should you say yes to because it requires you, uniquely you?  Your presence.  What should you say no to because it requires you to add to your ever growing to do list and any human could be substituted for the job?  It’s a project.  Think about the things that require your presence.  Being a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, a colleague, a whatever it is, fill in the blank.  Doesn’t that help you get a little clarity over your best yes?

Be present with a heart bent toward love and daring to look at what’s been placed right in front of you…Refuse to get tangled up and held back by what you don’t know.  And most of all, know who you want to be and take the next step that points you in the direction of that character quality.

I close with some of the beauty from Chapter 15, The Thrill of An Unrushed Yes.  I don’t know if you welled up reading Lysa’s reminiscing over moments with those she loves most and her unrushed yes, but I did.  She’s right.  Sometimes it is the smallest yes that can make the most impact.  Tonight my kid’s exclaimed, “this is the best day ever!” because I served crackers and cheese and apple slices with our cowboy stew.  Y’all, I just made dinner and a pretty basic one.  I came home early and didn’t even have time to make cornbread to go with our stew because I was baking for the school Christmas party.  But we sat there to the simplest meals and talked about our days, and it was the best yes I’d offered this week.  I had a competing offer.  I could have been elsewhere.  I would have missed that.  One more of their “best days!”

Lord knows I do miss plenty of that.  I didn’t miss it tonight.  As a Type A planner girl, I’m actively changing my focus these days to build space in my life for the unrushed yes.  The best yes.

Lysa sums it up like this, “This isn’t natural to me. I’m a task girl. I like accomplishing things. I like the thrill of moving forward, creating momentum, and getting stuff done. But the more I choose to pause and talk and really connect, the more I discover the thrill in the sacred spaces of relationships. Leaving room in my life for the unrushed yes strengthens the fabric of my relationships so they can better withstand the wear and tear of everyday life.” (p. 181)

What about you?  What best yes can you offer in this season that is all too often filled with frenzy and lists of things to do?

Meaning in the Mayhem, Vlog Part 3

Thanks for journeying with me as I’ve done a little video blogging this Christmas season finding spots of meaning in the mayhem.  You’ve seen the circus of taking three five year olds to the Nutcracker and seen us prepare for our second Monthly Mondays, but today it’s a little quieter.

A good friend of mine hosted several of us for dinner and wrapping at her house.  If you’ve ever had to stay up til 2 am wrapping before Christmas, then this is the antidote to that.  Plus, I got to catch up with my girlfriends and unwind while doing something practical and fun!  (And we had great access to a variety of wrapping paper!)  Here’s a little look into last night:

 

Fashion Fridays: The Elusive Riding Boots

My darling friend Christine has been on an ELEVEN year quest for the perfect riding boots.  Seriously, that is just wrong.  She has given no budget restrictions because she says she will wear them until she dies, and then she will be buried in them.  And she’s got decades left on her :)

So here are my leading contenders for the perfect knee high leather riding boot in dark brown or black (per her request).  Now if someone will just help me figure out how to wear them without getting elephant knees!

Stuart Weitzman Equine Boots from Zappos.  Why they work?  Gorgeous rich dark brown with no adornments and a beautifully classic cut.  Why they might not work?  There is a small heel and they are incredibly pricey.   Ditto this exact analysis for these Frye Riding Boots also from Zappos.

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Frye Leather Riding Boots from Zappos (also at Nordstrom’s).  Why they work?  They are not only flat but completely unadorned!  Why they might not work?  The double panel makes them appear a little less sleek which I LOVE, but they’re likely not as sleek as her sensibility is seeking.  I actually prefer these to the pricier Frye pair above.  (There are several good options in Frye.)

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Burberry Riding Boots from Nordstrom’s.  Why they work?  They are SUPER flat and sleek.  Why they don’t work?  They’re rubber.  Yes, these adorable boots are rubber!

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Cole Haan Leather Boots from Nordstrom’s.  Why they work?  Y’all, these are nearly perfect.  They’re Cole Haan so quality leather.  No adornment, great cut and detailing, super sleek, and they are 30% off!  Why they might not work?  There is the teensiest bit of a heel, but surely that won’t kill these perfect boots in brown or black.

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Everybody Boot from Nordstrom’s (also on sale!).  Everything I said about the above Cole Haan’s are true for these and they come in a gorgeous dark brown too.

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So what about you?  Where did you find your favorite pair of riding boots?  What brand?