On Thanksgiving

25 11 2009

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Dear Friends, during the start of the holiday season I want to speak peace into your hearts.  Take a few deep breaths.  Spend a few short minutes focusing not on your “to do” lists but on what you have to be thankful for.

I have been hearing various messages that all boil down to this: thankfulness leads to contentment and peace.  Meditating on that simple truth, I have experienced a 180 turn around in my attitude when typically I would be more stressed out than a cat in a bath.  It’s sad and fascinating that life is so easily lived with a negative attitude.  In light of that and with the holiday season on top of us, let’s have some girlfriend time -a little heart to heart- focusing on perspective.

As a photographer I learned early on that focus is everything when you’re taking a picture.  If a subject is blurry, the picture is basically trashed.  Do you see the metaphor?  When the “Happiest Time of the Year” rolls around we usually (guilty as charged) get so wrapped up in the food, gifts, party coordinating, card-giving that we loose focus on RELATIONSHIPS, which is what this time of the year is truly all about.  Refocus on the people in your life and the rest -all those details which seem so important- will take their proper place as things that simply accentuate the festive, cheery time of bonding and reconnecting.

The above verse is one I want you to memorize and repeat to yourself at least daily during this season.  Are you joyful?  Not in a false way, “Here’s my plastic ‘Merry Christmas, everything is wonderful’ smile!”  True joy comes from assessing what you have been blessed with and realizing how awesome those blessings are!  I have a loving family, a redeemed life, a relationship with my Savior -therefore, I am joyful!  Are you praying continually?  I/We forget that life doesn’t entirely rest on our shoulders, but we have a God who is waiting to give good gifts to his children.  “Ask, seek, knock,” as Jesus said in Matthew.  Are you giving thanks in all circumstances?  That doesn’t mean you have to be glad crappy things happen -it means you are thankful that God is there to help you through everything that life brings.  We are not alone, even if we have been abandoned by friends and/or family.  God proves over and over that he is the faithful, steady rock we can stand on or cling to in everything, and for THAT we can be ever and always thankful.

Recently I’ve been at my wits end in parenting my tempestuous 2 year old.  He’s 500% boy and 50% of the time he’s a combination of Verruca Salt and Napoleon.  I have definitely struggled with thankfulness for being a stay-at-home mom, but God has been refocusing my perspective and it’s helping!  I have been contemplating re-entering the corporate world and as we’ve been thinking about that potential change I have been treasuring my position as a full-time mama, despite Wilder’s tantrums.  Realizing that I would be gone for such large chunks of the week and miss out on nurturing him, my attitude has changed to one of gratefulness that I am blessed to be with him now 100% of the time.  Though I can still get overwhelmed with what to do with such a strong-willed child, I am glad that we get to work through this period of his precious little life together, instead of on a part-time basis.

The nitty-gritty:

  • Focus on relationships this year
  • Identify and bask in your joy!
  • Pray, girl, pray!
  • Focus on thankfulness -in everything

Peace be yours and many, many blessings to you and your family.  Thanks for sharing this time with me!  Now, go talk to Aunt Margaret and don’t worry so much about the turkey!





Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner For HEALTHY HOLIDAYS?

17 11 2009

Laura Arnold of "At Table" -cooking instructor, restaurant owner, uncommon woman!

This Thursday we’re in for a major treat. And when I say a “major treat,” I’m talking about a red carpet roll out kind of put-your-party-dress-on and invite your best friend kind of major treat.  Because guess what?  Laura Arnold of At Table will be one of our guest speakers!

Pulled right from her website, here’s just a taste of who this amazing gal is.

“Laura Arnold expresses her love of food and people through her company, At Table. Laura’s vision is a “return to the table” where meals and entertaining are a warm and memorable experience.  Laura has worked as a caterer, a line cook and in local bakeries.  Today, Laura owns two restaurants in Austin with her husband, Russell. With At Table, Laura enjoys teaching others about the pleasures of good cuisine and connecting people through food and the arts of the table.”

Cooking up a few of her favorite recipes perfect for holiday entertaining, Laura will be sharing with us how we can provide nutritiously for our family during the festive seasons, make things ahead to save our sanity, and focus on enjoying the experience of entertaining!  And she told me that she’ll be doing something ridiculously delicious with strawberries, balsamic, sugar and cream.  Nobody should miss THAT!  Plus -yes, there’s another plus- Laura will be bringing gift certificates to Zuzu’s, one of the restaurants she and her husband own!  Be a lucky winner and come!

Our second guest is SGT Patton, an active duty, 3 time war vet with so much fitness expertise that it makes my head spin!  SGT Patton will share how to get started on an exercise routine or challenge yourself further in your current fitness level, offer examples of incredibly effective and efficient exercises you can do anywhere with little to no equipment, and debunk many nutrition and fitness myths that we are constantly bombarded by.  Plus he’s really cute so come just to oogle, if nothing else.  Well, and for the food, of course.

Having trouble finding a babysitter for the evening?  Bring your kid(s)! You don’t want to miss out on this fun, festive and informative event.  It’s going to be our best monthly meeting YET! 

Please email for directions uncommonwomengroup@gmail.com





Healthy Holidays: Enjoy the Season, Lose the Guilt

2 11 2009

Healthy Holidays_edited-2

It’s our November get together and we have a fabulous night lined up for you, ladies!

If you’re like me, you’re done with feeling awful about enjoying the delights of the holiday season when New Years rolls around.  So let’s grab hold of the reigns and get proactive about our health BEFORE January hits!

Active duty soldier, 3 time war vet and combat trained fitness guru Brian Patton will show how each of us can work to build a better, healthier body and help debunk common fitness myths.

We’ll be enjoying delicious samples of holiday fare made “light” and sharing the recipes so you can cook healthier holiday meals and treats for the family, while not losing the delicious tastes!

And we’ll wrap up the evening with a fireside chat on respecting our bodies through how we maintain them. Plus, it’s always wonderful to spend a relaxing evening with Uncommon Women!

Why wait to make New Years resolutions?  Start NOW!

Email UncommonWomenGroup@gmail.com for directions or more information!





Style Watch: Skirts Getting Longer!

10 10 2009

Ladies, if you haven’t noticed, the hemline is lengthening!

Just below the knee and mid-calf are the hot styles for fall and winter (which helps keep warmer legs!)  But remember, no matter what’s “a la mode” you need to wear a length that is flattering to your figure.

If you have chicken legs like me, skirts cut directly at or slightly above the knee are great, as well as mid-calf which creates the illusion of a fuller muscle.  Angle length is also excellent for slender limbs.

Thick calves? You’ll look great in skirts cut right above or at the knee or go for tea or ankle length.  Careful not to accentuate those lovely built calves by cutting them at their fullest, creating the illusion of an even fuller calf.

Thick ankles, but love skirts? Try wearing boots this season!

You deserve to feel beautiful and have a perfect way to work with your body shape and build, learn how to dress it!

This skirt reminds me of  Rosemary Clooney in “White Christmas.”  You know, the scene where she has a tiff with Bing Crosby while ‘rehearsing the Blessings number.’   I LOVE that movie, don’t you?

Gorgeous on a fuller figure or if you have lovely curves!

My Classic Black Skirt. A pencil skirt with personality.  Perfect for skinny or proportionate legs.

BootsBOOTS – & MORE Boots! These pairings of boots and skirts are excellent examples of ways to combine two loves -dresses & leather- for stunning and economical looks!