What I Wore Sunday

March 15, 2015

You wouldn't know it, but I changed 3 times this morning.  I've been working on a capsule wardrobe lately just to alleviate the  burden of matching new outfits but I'm not "there" yet and it sometimes takes me ages to get dressed in the morning.  How great would it be to have everything in your wardrobe match just about everything else?  All I would have to do is pick a colour and there would be several outfits at my disposal.  There would be much rejoicing (especially on this Laetare Sunday) if that were the case.  Incidentally, here is what I (finally) picked out this morning:


Skirt: Old Navy (thrifted)
Blouse: Kohls brand
Cardigan: Old Navy (thrifted)


Love this scarf, which I picked up Old Navy (I think) as well.


Boots (and the flannel-lined tights) were an after-Christmas, outlet mall purchase bought at G.H. Bass & Co.  They were both a steal.  

I hope you all enjoy these last couple of Lenten weeks.  Spring and Easter are definitely on their way, thank God!    

Lenten Click-its

March 5, 2015



We're busy little (frozen) bees up here in the sub-zero Northern Hemisphere - working away at TFG blog update, and keeping up with our day jobs.  But while I've been working, I've come across a number of good links lately.  If you haven't given up the Internets for Lent, then allow me to provide you some interesting click-its:

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I love Ann Voskamp.  She's a fellow Canadian, hailing from the area of farmland that I call home.  She's written a book called 1000 Gifts (which I've reviewed here before) and if words can slap a person (in a good way), her words do it.  In the face.  Like these words from this post:

You aren’t actually thankful for something if you think you actually earned it.  That’s pride, not gratitude.

BAM.  See what I mean?

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So my prayer today is this. That I stop defining myself by my doing, and start defining myself by my being. That I stop measuring time by the clock on the wall, and start measuring it by the experiences I share with those around me. And that I stop seeing my life as "busy," and instead, see it for what it truly is.
Full.
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Have you ever heard of St. Collette?  Neither had I.  Brandon Vogt had a little write up on this formidable woman this morning.

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And an interesting post over at Mama Needs Coffee.   I have often thought that just because something is philosophically beautiful, that doesn't mean that the reality of it is any less difficult to live through.  Enter Natural Family Planning.  While my experience of NFP has been different from many others, I can really sympathize with those who have had to use it often.  In any case though, it does no good to anyone to sugarcoat NFP.

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On a completely different note, February, for me at least, was a bomb in regards to writing and blogging.  I did next to none.  So I was a little bit excited when I came across these writing exercises…a few ideas to get the words flowing again.

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I've been meal planning for a while now, mostly on a weekly basis.  I've been considering jumping from planning one week, to planning two weeks at a time, but have run into some snags.  I found this site informative and helpful in my planning (even though I still haven't tried two weeks yet!).

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Nancy at The Cloistered Heart is always good.  So good.  If you ever want to stop, settle down and meditate, try Nancy's site.  It is so rich in meditation material.

"I even began to feel that a large part of the task of a "Cloistered Heart" is to carry the fire into darkness, as well as into areas of artificial light."

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You may remember a few years ago Tess and I spoke at the Dynamic Women of Faith conference.  Since then Dorothy has started a blog for DWoF and I found this post about beauty lifting the soul and helping us to gain perspective particularly beautiful.

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A while back I found out that my College friend Mary was a blogger.  Her blog Sometimes Martha Always Mary recently underwent a transformation and it looks just lovely.  Thought you might enjoy it,  her home, and her writing as well.

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Delicious breakfast last week from Martha Stewart.  Take out the bread and you've got yourself a paleo breakfast alternative (although try and find some crunch to substitute for the bread in there.)

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In researching a post last month I came across these 9 quotes on the dignity and value of women.  They were so good I've bookmarked them for later reference, and I thought I'd share the wealth.

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And this post was perfectly timed.  As we're only two weeks into Lent (has it only been TWO WEEKS???) and I'm sure you're not at all like me…desperately attempting to justify a ham sandwich on friday or  remembering what you've decided to give up as it's half way down your throat?  Yeah.  Catherine Doherty makes it all better because apparently it's alright to be a failure.   Yessss!


Something New…

February 1, 2015



Tess and I are cooking up a new look and feel for The Feminine Gift.  
Stay tuned...

Getting linked: the inspirational, informative, and the funny from around the internet

January 21, 2015

Let's take a walk on the lighter side. This week I'd like to take you on a tour of some of my favourite places to visit online.

Fun girly YouTube channels
Every now and then a girl needs to be a girl. YouTube abounds with makeup gurus and how-to videos of all sorts, but some are definitely better - and more fun - than others. Here are two I like:

Lisa Eldridge
Lisa is a professional makeup artist from Britain. She really knows her stuff, and has a restrained delivery style (believe me when I say this is not always the case!). Plus, we know that anything spoken with a British accent is a delight to hear, and must always be true.

The Daily Connoisseur
Jennifer L. Scott spent six months in Paris as a student. While there, she became entranced with the principles of French chic in matters of style and daily living. The author of two books, she now also has a YouTube channel and blog in which she shares her ideas of living with, and enjoying, the very best you have in your life. Don't hide your best dishes away, use them!


Fun girly blogs
Blogs for women abound online, covering every topic imaginable. Here are two I like to visit regularly:

The Nester
This blog is a breath of fresh air. It's about home d├ęcor, but for 'the rest of us', those of us who are not represented by the glossy magazines of perfectly perfect homes with not a thing out of place. The Nesting Place is about using what you already own and loving your home.  Delightful!

BooMama
Need a laugh?  Want to pretend your best friend is as southern as can be?  Visit BooMama, and visit often.


Because it's beautiful
This one I'm including to provide you a place to dream about living in a gorgeous chateau in the South of France. It's fodder for day dreams:

Chateau de Gudanes
The pictures are what does it for me. I don't really keep track of anything else that happens on this site, I just scroll through the photos and sigh at all the beauty.  This lovely old chateau (this was once someone's home.  Imagine!) is undergoing renovation, and we get to follow along - without the bother of plaster dust and recalcitrant tradesmen.


Because it's Catholic
Into every life a little learning must fall:

Word on Fire
I'd dearly love to invite Father Barron to dinner, so I could sit and listen to him talk. On any subject. He covers current events, pop culture, apologetics, and catechesis. Typically he sits in front of rows and rows of books which is distracting because I find myself wanting to browse the titles, but he has the remarkable gift of distilling complex topics into manageable, logical pieces. Catch the fire!


Because he makes cooking fun
For those moments of cookery confusion:

Chef John's Food Wishes YouTube channel
I mentioned above that not all YouTube tutorials are equal. Some presenters blather on far too long, so that the viewer forgets what they were searching for. Or by the time they finally get on to showing you how to prepare the perfect rice, your pot has boiled dry.  Chef John will not leave you in such straights. He will teach you techniques and recipes, but best of all he does it with a wonderful sense of humour. 


Because it's British. And funny.
Do you have a love of all things British?

Anglophenia
A YouTube channel full of humour to teach you about British pop culture, language, accents, and food. Tally Ho!


Do you have favourite YouTube gurus or internet sites you like to visit?  Share in the comment box below.


















Captivating: A Book Review

January 15, 2015


When my husband read John Eldredge’s book, Wild at Heart, several years ago, the insights it contained spoke to him.  John Eldredge has a way of shedding light on the mysterious heart of a man, and suggestions for the healing of the brokenness contained within it.  His thoughts deeply resonated with Jason - putting words to things that Jason only instinctively knew or felt, but couldn’t describe.   It all made sense to us.  We both could easily see (I read the book too) how valuable and true Mr. Eldredge’s insights were and as much as we could we began to pay attention to Jason’s heart in the struggles we faced. 

And then the Eldredges came out with a book for women - Captivating.  And what Wild at Heart does for men, Captivating does for women. 

This book is a breath of fresh air for femininity in crisis.  Not only is it laid out well and easy to read, but it also has a depth and clarity that you don’t find in books about the topic.  Human beings are mysterious to themselves and it’s rare to find someone that is able to clarify yourself…to yourself. 

There are things this book doesn’t do.  Captivating doesn’t add to your to-do list.  It doesn’t give you a checklist of 10 things you have to do before you can be healed or offer a step-by-step approach to being more feminine.  What it does do is lay open the heart of a woman, it gives real life examples of how that heart is wounded and then offers suggestions and encourages you to prayer, counseling and/or medical intervention - whatever is required for you to find peace and healing.   Every woman has deep desires - questions that need answering.  According to the Eldredges, every woman needs to be romanced and pursued, longs for an irreplaceable part in a great adventure and desires to unveil a beauty which is all her own.  And at the heart of these desires are her questions:  Do you see me?  Am I lovely?  Am I worth fighting for?   And the answers she is given by those around her (who represent God at different times) deeply affect how a woman goes about her daily life: how she reacts under pressure and stress and especially affects the choices and decisions she makes for herself.  If someone (ie. Her father or mother) has told her, over and over again, subtly or not-so-subtly, that she is not lovely and that she is not worth fighting for, it is devastating to her, and that false understanding of herself is reflected in her life choices.   


I’ve read Captivating twice now, cover to cover, and gone back to quote it more times than I can count.  It still makes me teary and gets me fired up, all at the same time.  One small thing: while this book isn’t written specifically from a Catholic perspective, nothing in their writings struck me as glaringly problematic for Catholics.  In fact, John and Stasi are surprisingly refreshing in their use of quotes and sentiments from saints and Catholic writers.  They are also very in tune with the spiritual world.   

That being said, I would still encourage you to read the book (and Wild at Heart) with the eye of a critic, while pondering the universal truths of which they speak.  I suspect that you’ll find something in their writing that is relevant to your life and healing to your heart. 
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