Monday, November 29, 2010

Making Memories, food & other christmas joy!

Happy Christmas Season!
This is my all time favorite time of the year, and I hope you enjoy the more frequent blogging!
I am including Christmas' past pictures of favorite traditions in our family, including: Yearly Gingerbread House Making, Matching Flannel PJ's, Matching His/Hers (now, no way! so says my teens) Christmas Outfits, Christmas Tea's, and of course, my favorite all time recipe Chicken Marbella. Recipe to follow tomorrow! It is from the Silver Palate Cookbook, my all-time favorite cookbook, and the most beautiful, fragrant and tasty dish I have ever made. I am highlighting this because at our recent CCC women's treat, at my "Setting the Table" demonstration, I was asked to share this recipe. (I was asked to share because although I enjoy cooking about half the time, I am not one of those women who love to be in the kitchen-all the time) The ladies were asking me what did I serve at these beautiful tables? This is hands down the easiest (although numerous ingredient) and most delicious recipe I own! I will be selling beautiful white baking dishes, with all of the non-perishable ingredients, wrapped beautifully at the boutique, next tuesday. (See following)

Christmas Boutique
Tuesday, December 7 11am-3pm
Proceeds: Inspired Design
What better way to do some Christmas shopping?
@Roxanne’s home (Reply yes, and I will forward my address)
Scones, Tea & Christmas Music***
~There will be a “warehouse” element, with amazing deals, homeschool/school books etc.
~Plate & dish sets, at a fraction of the cost
~Christmas gifts from $12-$35
~"Amazing gift baskets, unique & with a twist"
~Antiques from France, Scotland, Wales & England (to treat yourself ???)
~Inspired Design books, to be signed
****Best Part: Wrapping table, where the darling teenage girls from Inspired 31 will wrap up all the gifts you purchased, while you have a cup of tea & the best scones ever made, in front of a roaring fireplace with Christmas (not Holiday) music :) !

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving: Thankful for my children

I am so
thank-ful for
my entire family!
This thanksgiving I'm going to highlight the kids when they were little....for I am so thankful for that time, home with them.

My friends and I were chatting the other day about how during the diaper stage it seemed like the days were so long, and that sometimes I didn't get a shower until 4pm! How quickly it goes, and wow, how old do I sound?

I snapped my fingers (actually I didn't even have time) and suddenly Hannah is 17 and looking into what college she will go to! I am so thankful for all of those years I have had with both my kids, and how thankful I am to have been at home with them, for all those memorable and ordinary moments. Sometimes when I have been working down in my office, and one of the kids has needed me and showed up to my desk with tears in their eyes, I am so cognitive of how much I love them and how much I would love to protect them from any pain. As the "mother bear" instincts can come out at any time, but especially when the kids have been hurt, I realize if I love my kids this much, how much must God love them?

I am so tremendously thankful for my children and their faith. I am thankful that God is watching down on my children, minute by minute, and loving them, even more than I. I am thankful for my faith that allows complete trust that God has a plan for them, and that prayer will lead them to that path! The more I concentrate on those truths, the more thankful I am, the more peace-filled, the more joy-filled, the more God-focused I am.

My faith took another "step-up" I call it (You know when you are climbing up a water-fall sized staircase with really tall steps?, like when hiking? ) (Yes, I do hike) when my daughter got her drivers license and drove to school with her 13 year old brother, a 25 minute drive. Ok, God, they are your kids and I trust you! I am so thankful, this Thanksgiving for that trust!

May your thanksgiving be filled with the peace & joy that comes from that trust!
God Bless You & Yours,

From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. If your heart is full of love, you will speak of love. I want you to fill your hearts with great love. Don’t imagine that love, to be true and burning, must be extraordinary. No; what we need in our love is the continuous desire to love the One we love. Mother Teresa, No Greater Love, p. 27-28
Joy is the simplest form of gratitude. Karl Barth
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23 (KJV) (Guard your heart & home)
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankfulness: Blessings of Friendship

Since I look to my dear friends, some pictured on this page, as an example: I'd have to say: Celebrating each others gifts, and overlooking & forgiving weakness. I am thankful that my friends truly celebrate me, yet forgive (and more importantly forget) my weakness. Not having to be the best at everything allows friendship to flourish. Competition kills the intimacy needed in friendship. I love when my friends are good at something.

Courtney, my friend since my USC days, and I can not see each other for months, but talk and text frequently, and pick up like college was yesterday. The blessings of friendship are incalcuable to me, and I think God gives you friends as a huge gesture of love and mercy and grace. (Proverbs 17:17, 18:24)
My "playgroup" friends (you'd think we'd come up with a better name, as there are probably millions of playgroups across America) have been friends for almost 18 years, and currently make up a large part of the steering committee of Inspired 31. Deana, Kathleen, Me and Nancy (just back from a 3 month RV trip), Lorianne (In Nashville), Camille and Joy!

Joy is how I am finishing this post! (See: She is our "Inspired Cuisine", probably known to you as the "Scone lady", and such a dear example of unconditional & sweet friendship, always celebrating others success and talents/gifts. The article if you cut and paste the http above ( I tried to copy the article but this blog would not let me) highlights her and her amazing talents and gifts for baking. "Cooking is a way I show people I care about them. When else will you or your family spend time together if not for a meal?" says Joy. I cannot count the times when I pop over to her house for tea, and she pops in a scone, and just stay a minute (in my world, that is an hour)! She is a treasured friend to me, and the steering committee, and now to Inspired 31.

I am blessed to have old friends, and I'm so happy to have all you new ones! (Inspired 31 etc...)

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Inspired 31...
Teaching girls to find & follow God's path for their life, unique and one of a kind, and a place for encouragement, inclusiveness, grace and joy for ALL women & girls!

Wow, "Ministry of Giving: Kindness, Acts of Service and Gifts", was a real blessing for all involved. Gushed Kathleen, one darling mom, "The entire flow of the day was perfect!!! What Debbie Marshall (Director of the Heart of Hope Ministry, Intl.) said flowed great into what Jill Foster, author of Creative Cakes Anyone Can Make spoke on. I think the idea of "giving to others" was communicated wonderfully! Many moms and young ladies came up to me and said they apprieciated the "different examples" that showed how they found God's will for their lives. To God be the glory, that He can use each of us, with our different gifts, on this earth!!! :-)

Our mission at Inspired 31 is to show girls (and women) that it isn't what you have that matters, but that you use what you have to give to others. Our hope is that through all our different speakers it will touch each one differently, to use your gifts "heartily, as unto the Lord".

I was profoundly touched on Sunday, with the spirit of joy that permeated the room. Each person seemed to love one particular aspect of the day. Jill Foster, one of our amazing speakers, commented, "Your ministry Inspired 31 is amazing. First off - you have a fantastic team. It is really remarkable how fast the tables were set, decorated, along with the program detailed down to the minute. What a testimony to the girls of what it takes to make something really great! My sister and I had a great time meeting everyone. We went out for Sushi afterwards and just shared how fun and nice everyone was."

Part of the reason the atmosphere was so joy filled, is because each speaker, and mother daughter team truly is using her gifts. While creating the "Steering Committee" of Inspired 31, we emphasized that we wanted each person to use their giftedness to honor others. It took months for that to fall into place, with great dedication to prayer in order that each person was tailor made for that position, by God and his wisdom. It was a long process, but beginning and ending with prayer is sure a perfect start!

Another element of the atmosphere is the Cornerstone Verse: Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. We believe, as a steering committee, that if we as women/girls run everything through the mental filter of this verse that sometimes typical "girl" stuff is eliminated. Offense, negativity and gossip is eliminated when asking God, Is it true? Is it pure? Is it lovely?

The last element is deep, lasting, God-honoring friendship. Some of the steering , have been friends for almost twenty years. (I know we look much younger :) Deana, Kathleen and I have been friends from MOPS and playgroup 17 years ago. We were nursing mothers, at home, getting used to this new thing "motherhood" together. Melissa knew Deana and Kathleen at MOPS. Wendy and I, forged a friendship over 10 years ago while I was designing her home! Many other of the girls (yes us over 40 crowd :) have been attending church together for years. Trust is one element of friendship and knowing the faithfulness of these girls makes it so easy to work alongside one another, easily.

Here are some wonderful friendship & thankfulness verses!
Proverbs 27:17, Proverbs 27:9, Proverbs 17:17, Proverbs 18:24

Here's to new friendships, and wonderful old ones, one is silver the other is gold! Always be open to new friendships, God often times has the best friends in mind for you. It may be sitting at a table, at Inspired 31, where you don't know anyone. Some of the best blessings come when you least expect them!

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Inspiring November: Thanksgiving and Christmas Cakes, Cupcakes and Cookies

I am so excited to share with you the delightful "Write Way" method of cake, cupcake and cookie decorating of author/baker Jill Foster. Not only has Jill authored, "Creative Cakes anyone can make", published by Thomas Nelson, but she is a devoted mom and Christian who gives God all the credit, not only for her talent, but for her success, in her terms. Her favorite scripture is Colossians 1:10-14, as noted in the preface of her book, with the prayer that her tips/book etc. makes life sweet and simple.

I became aquainted with her on the Westlake Kitchen Home Tour where she and I shared a space in the home of my lovely client and friend Karen Armstrong. Karen's darling daughter Grace, and my daughter Hannah were so enthralled with the decorating process that Jill demonstrated that it was hard to pry them out of Karen' lovely kitchen, where Jill was showing techniques to make lady bugs out of red M&M's, roses on a pencil, and darling cupcake flowers.

What cinched my friendship and admiration for Jill was her lovely spirit, and her humble way of giving credit to God, for her success, her talent & ability and her gracious ability to bless others with her "Write Way: Using instinctive ability to write". She hopes to take the stress out, and give the joy back into decorating for occasions.

She is the next speaker at Inspired 31, where we will have items available for purchase as well! We are auctioning off Cakes, Cupcakes and More.
Check out her website as well:

There will be tons of items available at Inspired 31 for purchase, if you love frosting and decorating. Who doesn't!?

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