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!





Healthy Holidays -Recipes You MUST Try!

15 11 2009

Valerie WhitmoreValerie Whitmore, founder and creator of CDKitchen.com, gave Uncommon Women a list of delicious holiday favorites made “light!” We’ve created a page just for these recipes where you can click, cook and enjoy!

Check out these delicious recipes -they’ve got me drooling and ready to cook!  I guarantee you’ll love them!  Thanks, Valerie!!

orangedot2Healthy Holidays Recipe Page


Healthy Holidays_edited-2And remember, this Thursday, Nov. 19th from 7-9:30pm is our monthly meeting!  “Healthy Holidays:  Enjoy the Season, Lose the Guilt!” Jumpstart your healthy lifestyle before those holiday pounds creep up and leave you feeling flabby on New Years.  Let’s take care of ourselves, respect our bodies, and enjoy some fabulous girl time with terrific guest speakers!  ALL FREE!





Better in Business

4 11 2009

I ran across this short, light and highly informative article on Single Minded Women’s website.  It was exactly what I needed to hear today and I wanted to share it with you!  Don’t sabotage yourself -avoid this 4 traps we women fall into in business!

Here’s the article.





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!





My Heart for Charming

27 10 2009

When I was in the fourth grade my mother put my sister and I through our first set of etiquette and charm classes. We met with several gals from our Girl Scout troop at the charm instructors home once a week, looked at diagrams on an overhead projector, learned about crossing our legs, picking out event-appropriate outfits, and how to properly walk up and down stairs.   Honestly, I hardly remember a thing except that the instructor enjoyed scarves, wore grandma-looking clothes and had a small kitchen table.  My nine year old brain was nowhere near desirous to learn the art of good manners, style and charm.  Quite frankly, the instructor was used to teaching women and failed to adjust her instruction to the elementary classroom.  The mothers were delighted that they were doing something constructive to make little ladies out of us, but I was hardly affected.

Round two. Now that I was entering 7th grade my mom tried again, this time with a different instructor.  Here I began to “get it,” sort of…at least I was more interested in learning if I had a “cool” or “warm” skin tone and proper grooming techniques. It was around this time that mom had a Mary Kay gal come over and outfit my sister and I will full skin care and make up kits.  THAT was fun and I will always remember that time of pampering; beauty products spread out all over our dining room table and those cute, little pink mirrors.  That must be why I love being a Spa Girl with BeautiControl -but back to the charm schools.  The instructor had a warmer approach, though I was still uncomfortable and rather petrified of doing something “uncharming” during the class, and the prim and proper instruction did not translate well to life in middle and high school.

In 2002 I signed on to be an instructor with a charm & modeling school and, WOW, was I thrilled to relearn all the stuff I had heard in those previous classes!  Finally I was in a place in my life where being charming, well-polished, etc. made sense! After each training class I felt like I had received new epiphanies and couldn’t wait to start teaching the material.  Getting to reach out to young women and offer them tools to help them succeed in all areas of life was something I quickly became passionate about, but I ran into a few problems. The curriculum I had to follow barely touched on inner beauty.  The girls were told to basically follow these guidelines in how to care physically for and present themselves, but were not instructed in how to beautify their hearts.  Let’s face it, you can have a drop-dead gorgeous woman who appears completely ugly because of a negative attitude or shallow personality.  The other problem I ran into was that there were no classes for women, just girls and teens.  If I was that excited to learn about poise, wardrobe, skin care, public speaking, etc. wouldn’t most women?  Just by integrating a few of these things into your life, you raise your confidence, feeling of self-worth, and performance edge by an enormous amount!

When we moved to Texas I decided to start my own classes -classes that covered all the same points as the other etiquette and charm classes, but also integrated inner beauty taught through a Christian perspective. We must accept God’s love before we can love ourselves, and we must love and accept ourselves before we can love and accept others.  Love is the basis of inner beauty.

I am dedicated to teaching age-appropriate material in an age-appropriate manner. For goodness sakes, a 9 year old needs to be learning about basic communication principles to help her deal with friend and school issues more than she needs to know how to walk up and down the stairs (though that’s also helpful.)  Women need help balancing their lives in order to be more productive and fulfilled, as well as creating more enriching family and relational experiences.   I want to address the whole woman and girl, not just provide a list of etiquette rules. If rules of etiquette are what you are looking for, there are plenty of books (which make my neck muscles tie up in knots when I read them -honestly, who can be THAT perfect?)

If you enroll in an Uncommon Women charm or confidence course or workshop you are going to get a very real approach to becoming even more fabulous, because that is what I am passionate about.  I have a heart for helping women and girls blossom into the gorgeous women God created them to be!

Our next group of courses start next week; Beauty Bootcamp will be in full swing!

Women’s Beauty Bootcamp:  Monday nights, Nov. 2-23, 7-9:30pm (ages 18+)

Teen’s Beauty Bootcamp: Tuesday nights, Nov. 3-24, 7-9:30pm (grades 9-12)

Girl’s Beauty Bootcamp: Wednesday nights, Nov. 4-25, 7-9:30pm (grades 6-8)

Women, I know you want to invest in your daughters but please consider investing in yourselves, too.  You are worth it -and the results of this time spent on you will truly last the rest of your life!

Call me, Kelly Cameron, at (512) 639-6908 or email UncommonWomenGroup@gmail.com to register or sign up for upcoming December classes.





Balancing Priorities

25 10 2009

According to Webster, a priority is “something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives.”  When it comes to balancing priorities, we must first identify what our values are so we may order our priorities correctly.

This requires a bit of work, but -please- take a few extra minutes and do this with me. Grab your journal or even a scratch piece of paper and write these things out.  This is for you (and for me, too -I’m doing it along with you) and a mental list simply won’t cut it.  If you want to balance priorities in your life, you’ve got to put some effort into to.  Starting now.

Important: marked by or indicative of significant worth or consequence : valuable in content or relationship

Here’s our first assignment:  List the top 10 things that are important in your life.  (ie: goals, people, jobs, values, etc.) What is of greatest value to you?

What did you come up with? Were you surprised by your answers?  I always am.  Here’s my list; the first three are tops, but the rest are in no particular order.

-Family (husband, children)

-Relationship with God

-Fulfilling my purpose in Christ

-Being responsible with what I’ve been given

-Fun

-Creating

-Good physical health/exercise

-Rest -time for myself

-Relationships -extended family and friends

-Creating a peaceful environment and homelife, nurturing

Looking at your list, does your daily life reflect these things? If you’re like me (and I’m betting most of you are) you’ll already see there’s a contradiction between our values and how we ration our time.  Yep, I can already see several things that I need to rearrange in my life.  On to the next step.

Step 2: Pick the top 5 most important items in your list and write down how you can begin to integrate them into your daily life in order to bring greater balance and satisfaction to you. You might pick one or two that stand out on your list as things you’ve been meaning to work on, such as physical wellness or rebuilding relationships.

Relationship with God Daily quiet time, get in a community-based bible study for fellowship and accountability.

Family Stop working when Brian gets home until Wilder goes down to bed.  Focus on my family during that time.  Make nice dinners we can enjoy as a family and/or couple.

Fulfilling my purpose in Christ Prayerfully consider directions with Uncommon Women, seek guidance from godly women, focus on being the best mom and wife I can be.

-Relationships (cringe) Write more letters and start remembering people’s birthdays and special occasions.

Rest Create a sabbath, a time of rest.  Spend time each day surrendering to Christ and working on it as an attitude.  Focus each day on my little girl growing inside me, praying for her and connecting.  I need to rest so I can have the energy and focus for the other wonderful people and things in my life.

Oh, I feel better already!  Do you?  Hm… for those of you who said, “No” consider this:  What is blocking you from making these things top priorities? What is keeping you from truly LIVING what is important to you?

Think about that.  WRITE IT DOWN.  Really communicate with yourself and write out what’s going on.  Too many activities, not enough time? It’s time to start simplifying in order  to increase your quality of life, and the quality of life for your family.  Hey, I’m in that same boat, ladies, and I understand the struggle.  Having a 2 year old, anticipating a new little one, starting up new businesses and organizations, running a household, literally working from dawn to practically dawn -it’s tough!  And it’s so easy to lose focus on what is truly important to you.

Sometimes we aren’t living our top priorities because we’re trapped in fear, not believing that we can do or be more or afraid of what others will think.  DO NOT let fear stop you from living you passions or your dreams. Yes, we need to be wise and cautious, not jumping into things without thinking, but we need to live the lives we’ve been created to lead -and those are lives of victory, great fulfillment, and abundant joy.

Order your life to fit your priorities, don’t let The Urgent make those decisions for you.  My dear friend and mentor, Gina Murrow, coached me on The Tyranny of the Urgent versus The Important.  Just hearing that concept changes how you think, doesn’t it?

I have started keeping a mid-sized white board by my computer that I update daily.  I have a list of The Important and The Urgent, as well as a list of to-dos for the week.  I check things off, I write new things down – it’s a way for me to keep perspective on my day.  When I get sidetracked by something on the computer that fritters away my time, I am learning to stop and get back on course.  I’m also learning to say “no” to email addiction.  You know what I’m talking about -that impulse to check email every 10 minutes so you can stay on top of the latest communication.  It all comes down to being purposeful and intentional with our time. I am choosing to stop my work to spend time with Wilder while he’s playing so I don’t miss out on those precious moments.  I am choosing to allot several minutes to electronic communication and conquering my to-do list during nap time instead of browsing folks and companies on Twitter (oh, so tempting…) I am choosing to plan dinner ahead of time so I can provide a peaceful and enjoyable evening for my husband after his 14 hour work days.

Live your priorities, not The Urgent. We live in a day of urgency, which gives no rest, no peace, no deeper fulfillment and we must choose to stop. Take control of how your life is lived and reflect on these verses with me.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:13

That means the strength to stop.  The strength to take care of yourself.  The strength to live your priorities, not the world’s expectation of you.

Peace be with you as you begin to live in greater fullness.





Beauty Bootcamp: Women’s class starts Nov. 2nd!

21 10 2009

Alright soldier!  Strap on those heels, it’s time for BEAUTY BOOTCAMP!

Beauty Bootcamp

BEAUTY BOOTCAMP is kicking off early! The Women’s course is starting this coming Monday, November 2nd through Nov. 23rd  from 7-9:30pm at my home in Georgetown, TX.  $175, includes materials.

It’s 4 weeks of intense training on beautifying from the inside out.

We’ll hit wardrobe, poise, confidence, inner beauty, etiquette, skin, nail and hair care, make up, communication, public speaking -just to name a few.

The classes are Christian-based, meaning we’re working on Christian principles when we address how we put ourselves together both on the inside and outside.

Teen Classes (9-12 grade) start Tuesday, November 3rd through Nov. 24. 7-9:30pm  Class size limited to 8 students, so sign up early. $175, includes materials.

Girls Classes (6-8 grade) start Wednesday, November 4th through Nov. 25. 7-9:30pm  Class size limited to 8 students.  $175, includes materials.

Call (512) 639-6908

or email UncommonWomenGroup@gmail.com

*Classes payable by credit card, cash or check.  Ask about our deferred payment option.