WFMW: #IDHTBPTBB

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Or It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful.

I’ve been reading The Nester’s blog and using her design hacks for years. She even helped me float my couch once. She was one of the first people to read my new book and she carried it all the way to Africa.

For years, she has said #yesinhermess.

Although, let’s be real–her mess looks so much prettier than mine–all pastel ish and color-cooridanted. But she’s the real deal and her brand new book is as beautiful as she is.

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It’s sitting on my coffee table right now. Bookmarked with a feather because I’m learning ALL THE THINGS. It’s a gorgeous book that tells the story of saying yes right where you live.

It comes out next week and if you preorder it, you can get this lovely printable free: (click here for details on The Nester’s blog)

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I’m already updating my gallery wall. And I’ve moved a chair. Okay, two.

It works for me!


WFMW: The Golden Tote

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I spent 10 minutes looking for my denim jacket the other day. I looked everywhere–in my closet, car, laundry room. I finally gave up, scratching my head in wonder.

It turned out my teen daughter looked quite stylish that day at school.

Can anyone else identify? I’m just glad we aren’t the same shoe size anymore.

A friend told me it was a high compliment–that my teenager thinks (some) of my wardrobe is cool enough to wear. I’m honored. Sort of (because I was also a bit cold without my jacket).

But I have to admit, my daughter knows the latest fashion trends way before I do and helps me look cute when I’m “looking my age.” When  The Golden Tote asked if they could send me a tote of clothes to try, we were excited. I say we because we both know it’s not just for me.

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I’ve been a big fan of StitchFix, but I wanted to see how this was different. Because while I love the clothes they send me, it’s expensive. If it weren’t for referral credits, I wouldn’t shop there very often.  The Golden Tote asks a couple of questions and then let’s you choose an item (or two) based on the option you choose and they surprise you with the rest.

Here’s how The Golden Tote works:

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My tote came in a few days and the best part? You don’t have to choose what to keep, you get to keep everything in your prepaid tote. And I loved my grab bag with a super cute dress that I’m going to call my Easter dress, three tops and a cami

Here are my favorites:

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1. This little floral tank is so colorful. It looks great with my favorite cardigan that I already had.

2. I love the pink and green top/dress. It looks cute over jeans or tights or by itself.

3. My hubby is going to love this little slip dress. I’m saving it for our next date.

4. And my favorite is probably this soft white top. It’s simple, but classy. I love it.

and guess what else was in my Golden Tote?

A new denim jacket.

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I think we love it.

The Golden Tote works for us! (Click on my affiliate link to check it out!)


WFMW: The Most Appetizing Way to Give Your Kids a World Perspective

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One of our favorite things to do as family is eat together.

And not just because we are hungry.

We love to experience new foods and my kids will try just about anything. (Well, except for one of them who insists on chicken nuggets in every kind of culture). We love Tex-Mex and comfort food. We love cajun and seafood. And I love having my family around the table. It’s our time to slow down and connect together.

But what we love most of all? Trying food from different countries. Last month we ate outstanding African cuisine we couldn’t pronounce in Santa Fe, New Mexico, of all places. Two weeks ago, we feasted on German sausage and bread. Last week, we had Bosnian food in a little Houston strip mall.

And with every bite, we talk about the way the rest of the world lives, about culture, about differences, about how we are the same. We compare bread from the Middle East to chapati in Kenya and injera in Ethiopia and naan in India.

As my son ate leftover cevapi (a Bosnian sandwich) for an afternoon snack this week, he said, “Mom, I want to go to Bosnia. I really want to see the country that makes this kind of food.”

We love using this Food Network On the Road App in every city we go to, even the one we live in, to discover delicious, unique food.  But really, it’s about a lot more than food. We end up talking about different cultures,  about war-torn Bosnia, oppressed people and much more.

Sometimes we don’t like an entree, but we don’t know until we try. Yo. Life lesson.

And sometimes you are served Kenyan-style egg rolls for breakfast and they are your new favorite meal.

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Every time I visit my refugee friends an hour from me, I smell the most wonderful aromas coming from their homes…spices and scents from Nepal and Burma –meals I hope to share with friends some day.

The best way to give your kids a world perspective–when you’re not able or ready to actually travel the world-is to introduce them to different foods and people groups right where you are.

Sometimes perspective is exactly what we need to taste. It may even satisfy a craving you didn’t know you had.

Go try something new and different today.

Trying new food works for us!

 


The Surprises of Motherhood

Motherhood has surprised me.

And I’m not just talking about my third child.

Every phase and every stage have left me saying, “Well, hello, there. I wasn’t expecting you.”

Like the burping-everything-you-say-phase–I’m so over you.

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We are also currently in the siblings-arguing-over-every-little-thing-stage.

This one might kill me. Or cause me to kill. I actually said the other day, “I hope you have three kids just like you!” And then I think I heard my dear mom laughing wildly somewhere.

But there have been good surprises, too. Phases I didn’t know would bring me so much joy- like my son’s quick wit or the way my teen daughter helps dress me.

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Or the way it feels to hold my children-as crying babies, or sulky teens, we are a perfect fit and even when we hurt each other, we heal each other.

Motherhood is hard.

I lay awake at night and pray for my children and mostly for their mother.  I am torn almost every day. Am I hurting or helping? Do they need grace or discipline? God help me to know which to offer when.

Motherhood is beautiful.

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I see glimpses of who they are becoming. It takes my breath away–these small moments of glory when they choose well, put others first, live out integrity when no one is watching.

Yes, I have been surprised by motherhood.

If you’re a mom or have a mom, I encourage you to read my friend Lisa-Jo’s brand new book, Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom. It’s a beautiful, uplifting story that will remind you to look for the breathtaking moments in the mundane. It will encourage you to keep up the good, hard work.

And on a tough day that leaves me speechless or a good one that surprises me with delight, this book works for me and it will for you, too.


WFMW: AmazonSmile

Amazon.

Y’all know I’m a big fan. It’s the only place I can knock out half my To Do list with a click.

And now, you can support your favorite 501c3 charity when you shop at Amazon. Click here to sign up.

What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.
How do I shop at AmazonSmile?
To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to AmazonSmile to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.
And you can give back to Mercy House through Amazon Smile.  Pretty cool, huh?
How do I select a charitable organization to support when shopping on AmazonSmile?
On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. We will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation.

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Plus, now until March 31st, for every new person who signs up, Amazon will GIVE $5 bucks to Mercy House if that’s your charitable choice. Click here to get started (it’s super easy and a very quick click!) 

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It definitely works for me!