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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Expectations of a Woman

Whoa! Who would have thought a woman of leisure would be so busy from sun-up to sun-down? The expectation is to be all things to all people. Societal pressure has bested many a good woman. See below;

The Western Code for a Lady of Breeding

  1. A woman should contribute financially, in fact out-earning and out-spending the other ladies in her ‘league.’
  2. She is the purrrrfect wife 😉
  3. She is active. She sews, gardens, jogs, practices yoga, holds a craft tables at all the local shows, and definitely knows how to make play-dough.
  4. Her children are well behaved; well versed in arts and crafts, sports, scholastics, and sculpting play-dough.
  5. She runs a pristine household of sparkling cleanliness, décor, and gourmet cuisine. The carpet is, above all things, play-dough-free.
  6. 5’10” and 110 lb, clear skin impeccably dusted with makeup, either a sleek bob or a bouncy blowout, and rhinestone-studded boots.
  7. She competes at various competitions at the national level.
  8. Her well-used library includes the Scriptures, National Geographic, Business Week, and Shakespeare.
  9. She leads a class in church, organizes a monthly field trip for school, and hosts a weekly prayer meeting.
  10. She is educated; her Ph.D is just one milestone of many.

Did I already say “whoa!?” Sometimes Inadequacy raises its ugly head to sneer at my unbotoxed lips; or the dishes in my sink; or the play-dough on my carpet. And I want to cringe, wondering if it is all worth the hassle.

But then my precious children arise and call me blessed; my husband also, and he praises me:
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” (Proverbs 31:28-29)

And with these words from my beloved family a steel-toe boot crushes the ugly monster of Inadequacy; and it dies a painful death amid flashbacks of an evil serpent in a beautiful garden.

Retail Therapy

No wonder we live in a broke society.

Can we agree that shopping is indeed not “therapy” but for many a crutch (at best)? and in nice society boredom at its worst.

Ask yourself: Do I need it? If the answer is yes, put it on a 30-day wait list. If you still need it in 30 days, you proved it was not a passing emotional attachment.

Next, why do you need it? If the answer to this goes deeper, do yourself a favor. Quit playing games with your heart and respond to the root problem.

  • Are you bored? Great–take a zumba class, practice your instrument, fix the screen door, etc. You fill in the blanks.
  • Are you emotionally wounded? Go to the source… and I don’t mean The Gap, Limited, or Guess.

The truth is there is in fact a Store that answers every need, whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual. God’s promise to a woman’s heart states,  “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Shop here, and never return defective merchandise again.

 (Hebrews 13.5b)

Natural Beauty: Hair

With permission I have translated for you my sister’s post from her Spanish blog.

She writes, “Today I will share with you my personal natural beauty routine.

Your Hair

“Shampoo: Take an egg yoke and use it as you would shampoo.  It will not foam, but it works!  The result is similar to a high quality shampoo. Afterwards, rinse with water.”

http://elhogarsencillo.com/2011/07/mi-rutina-de-belleza-natural/

Thank you Elisa for sharing! I have personally enjoyed the protein-rich treat for my hair. My hair has been very damaged (my fault–see photos of me in the last year sporting bleach blonde, dark blonde, and red hair!) and I have seen improvement by alternating my regular shampoo with the Natural Beauty method.

Like a Lady

Proverbs 31 doesn’t care about looking stylish.
Wrong, Cowgirl!
Allow me to clarify; “All her household is clothed with scarlet… Her clothing is fine linen and purple.”

I love purple! According to the text, She creates luxurious clothing for herself, her family, and others.
She looks amazing. Her husband is proud of her and trusts her completely.
So smear on the red lipstick. Bypass the sweatshirt in favor of the sparkly sweater. Skip the braid and show off loose waves of hair. Wear silk scarves.
My dear Princess; never, ever, be ashamed to look like a lady.
Western Woman
“Smell the flowers and drink your coffee”

Coffee

Over the next few weeks, please allow me to share on how to save and earn thousands of $$$ every year.

On this Money Monday, let’s talk coffee. Average coffee budget out there is $50/month. You know who you are, many of you spend way more than that.  And I used to personally serve thousands of dollars in coffee back in my Caribou barista days, so I know what I’m talking about!

Don’t worry, I’m not going to say give it up! Coffee is a great way to bring friends together–in your home. (Or at the office, wherever you consider to be your home.) Simply make it yourself in the same time it takes to wait in line at your local coffee shop.

You will need…

1. Initial expense is your coffeemaker. My choice? Mr. Coffee Espresso/Cappuccino Maker Usually $44.99 however I was able to get mine on sale last year for about $28  http://www.mrcoffeestore.com/detail/COF+ECM20

2. My drink of choice is a standard latte with a gourmet twist. A co-worker at Caribou called it a “Cabana Shot.” Use a packet of raw sugar in the brew basket, add your grounds, and brew regularly. Steam your milk, grab your eco-friendly travel mug, and you’re out the door to conquer the world. Whatever your drink is, purchase the ingredients for a week instead of buying a single serving ready-made for the same price.

3. Tip yourself. Make yourself a tip jar, complete with sparkles and a picture of whatever motivates you. Remember $50/month average? $10 goes to your monthly grocery budget for ingredients, and every ‘Money Monday’ you get to tip yourself $10 for a weeks worth of barista services.

4. Do the math. Over a year’s time you will tip yourself $520. Don’t spend it all in one place! Better yet, apply it directly to a savings account and make Mama proud 🙂

Cheers,

Western Woman

“Smell the flowers and drink your coffee.”

Fascination

I wear fascinators all the time, and am proud to have made most of them myself. What is a fascinator exactly? If you watched the Royal Nuptials this year you saw plenty of them. Simply put, it is a fancy form of headwear dating back to the 1700s, traditionally of wool, feathers, flowers, and lace. These works of art have seen a raging comeback in the last decade, and I couldn’t be more pleased. So pleased that I had to share the news! So here is your how-to for the making of a fascinator which can be worn to church, work, and beyond.

I did a little shopping and found simple flower clip fascinators selling for a minimum of $24. While most are under $100, I have seen plenty of styles in the $400-$500+ range. Do some shopping on your own and you may see one of my designs from time to time (But I like to keep them under $24 to encourage mainstream use.) Or just make your own, because it is a creative expression to be proud of!

Unless you have a large headwear budget and  plan on being on TV at the Kentucky Derby, let’s do some smart shopping, snipping, stitching, and glueing, and make several pieces for a fraction of the cost. (Good supplier is Hobby Lobby–thanks Rebecca for the tip!) For millinery-specific items (like feathers and hat bodies) check out www.shopsye.com

1. Choose your focus piece. This can be a brooch, pendant, rhinestone, or even a pretty button. Just remember it’s going to be on your head and should be worthy of such an honor.

2. Choose your base. Headband or clip? If the embellishment is small enough, a clip can be worn on with your hair down. Larger fascinator clips may need an updo to support the weight. If you do well with headbands, this may be your best option, as they can be worn with virtually any hairstyle. A pillbox is great for cocktail parties if you are lucky enough to count that as part of your daily routine!

Duckbill rubber-covered clips: www.sallybeauty.com

Headbands: Buy a pack of plastic ones for $1.99 at most department stores, or make your own with pretty headband elastic.

3. Sew a small circle of felt onto your base.

4. Stitch onto your felt a strip tulle,ribbon and/or lace. Arrange it loosely however you want it, so that it is unstructured yet purposeful. (Look at pictures of Kate Middleton or Audrey Hepburn for inspiration!)

5. Hot glue rhinestones, feathers, and center piece.

6. Wear with pride. When asked what the occasion, spare them the “Gone With The Wind” explanation and simply tell them that you celebrate EVERY day!

Cheers,

Western Woman

“Smell the flowers and drink your coffee.”

Priceless Moments

On my first day as a full-time mommy I watched my little girls bounce on the trampoline. 3-year-old Archangela gleefully jumped tirelessly, her movement causing 11-month-old Abigail to flail about like a happy little sack of potatoes. We love the outdoors, but I am dreadfully out of practice. Pink little noses and bright blue eyes  […]

A Decadent Treat

A Decadent Treat

‘Smell the Flowers and Drink Your Coffee’ may not apply to all people; because, it is rather a shock, but not everyone drinks coffee.
So, for any and all interested in a cup of coffee-free pure deliciousness, please allow me to share one of my favorite recipes:

Hot Chocolate
This recipe tributes my sis Elisa (catch her blog in Spanish www.elhogarsencillo.com) as well as the movie Chocolate (starring Juliette Binoche). Of course I have tweaked the recipe to my liking. I believe all truly original, artistic chefs should have freedom to adjust recipes as desired. No recipe is set in stone.
Disclaimer: I have presented this post as an alternative to non-coffee drinkers, as well as a treat for chocolate lovers. I must confess at this time I have nothing up my sleeve for those who take neither coffee nor chocolate. Please share if you do have such a recipe!


So, without further ado:
1. Heat filtered water in your kettle. I like to add a couple toothpicks of peppermint oil to the water as it heats, allowing the wonderful aroma to engage the senses and perfume the air.
2. Pour into mugs. Add to each mug1 tablespoon unsweetened baking cocoa, 1 teaspoon stevia powder, tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (seriously!), and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Mix well.
3. Cool it off to your perfect temperature with a generous splash of heavy whipping cream.
4. Now, go ahead and enjoy, either with a friend or simply the pleasure of your own wonderful company.

A Time For Everything

Many consider me to be a workaholic. For a year and a half I have survived and even thrived working at least 50 hours/week at my job; also managing a home; and striving to be a perfect wife and mother.
When does one say ‘enough is enough’? This last month I moved to a different town, suffered physical illness, and for the most part maintained my regular work schedule. I was stretched like a rubber band about to break.
Then I gave my 2-weeks notice. There was a certain amount of pressure to give more, more, more. I was already giving my all when I should really have been in bed taking cold medicine. But that is how I am… a workaholic.
Finally, I was asked to work my day off, and I decided–that was the moment: Enough is enough. I answered, “No.”
One can work themselves to exhaustion some of the time for a special occasion. But one cannot and definitely should not work themselves into an early grave all the time for everyday circumstances.
Yes, there is a time to work hard. There are causes worth fighting for, like faith, family, freedom, and country–but at times a workaholic has to look in the mirror and rehearse the hardest two letters in the alphabet; “No.”
The moral to my story? Decide for yourself when your health is worth sacrificing.
Will you practice with me? “No, no, no, no, no.”

Your thoughts?

Western Woman

Who Am I?

Yesterday I was a lovely flapper with a flamboyant fascinator of my own creation.
Tomorrow I’m pretty sure I will be a powerful business woman (rabbit trail: I recently gave my notice at Kmart, where I have been an assistant manager. Story for another time.)
Today I am debating between my fabulous purple cowboy hat and my ‘pioneer dress,’ or perhapse a red bandana, cozy sweatshirt, and jeans.After all, we do live on a farm (as of three days ago.)
OK, the trampoline and the kitties are calling out to my babies. That solves my what-to-wear moment.
Some days I am a queen, and I have the pageant gowns and cocktail dresses to prove it. Even a tiara for special occasions such as tea parties with my daughters.
I have even been a scullery maid, slaving away in a dark medieval fortress… scrubbing the floor on hands and knees in tattered servant’s garb, smiling at the romance of my awful fate.
Who am I? I am every bit a sparkly kind of gal–yet also rough and tough as needed. (I have several guns at my disposal in case of wild ‘Montana’ type emergencies. My worst nightmare is that I should encounter a rattlesnake unarmed. May it remain a nightmare only!)
I love my family, my beautifully rustic 26 acre farm, and the God who blessed me with it all.
Thank you for reading. I hope we will share many cups of coffee together in the posts to come.

Western Woman

“Smell the flowers and drink your coffee”